Friday, December 4, 2015

America’s pathological denial of reality - Caroline B. Glick

by Caroline B. Glick

In America of December 2015, natural conclusions are considered irresponsible, at best.

How much lower will America sink before it regains its senses? Wednesday, two Muslims walked into a Christmas party at a community service center in San Bernardino, California where one worked. They were wearing body armor and video cameras and carrying automatic rifles, pipe bombs and pistols. They opened fire, killed 14, and wounded 17.

The murderers, Syed Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik were killed by police.

Speaking to the Daily News, Farook’s father said his son, “was very religious. He would go to work, come back, go to pray, come back. He’s Muslim.”

Farook’s neighbor told the paper that over the past two years, Farook exchanged his Western dress for Islamic gowns and grew a beard.

These data points lead naturally to the conclusion that Farook and his wife were jihadists who killed in order to kill in the name of Islam.

But in America of December 2015, natural conclusions are considered irresponsible, at best.

In an interview with CNN following the shooting, US President Barack Obama said the massacre demonstrates that the US needs stricter gun laws. As for the motives of the shooters, Obama shrugged. “We don’t yet know the motives of the shooters,” he insisted.

In other words, while ignoring what in all likelihood drove Farooq and his wife to murder innocent people, Obama laid responsibility for the carnage at the feet of his political opponents who reject his demands for stricter limitations on gun ownership.

Here is the place to note that California has some of the most stringent gun control laws in the US.

According to the victims, Farook and his partners were able to reload their weapons and shoot without interruption for several minutes until the police arrived because there was no one to stop them.

Obama wasn’t alone in deflecting attention away from the likely motivations of the murderers.

Wednesday evening, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), held a press conference at the Islamic Center of Orange County. Farook’s brother in law, Farhan Khan was carted out before the cameras to tell the world that he for one had no idea why his brother in law opened fire.

Two other speakers at the event were Hussam Auyloush, CAIR’s regional executive director and Muzammil Siddiqi, the director of the Islamic Society of Orange County.

Auyloush insisted that he had no idea would could have possibly prompted Farook and his wife to murder those gathered at the center. Auyloush raised the prospect that they could have been mentally ill, or perhaps they just didn’t like the victims, or maybe they were garden-variety extremists.

For his part, Siddiqi insisted that Islam had nothing to do with the shooters’ decision to murder innocent people, (how he could be so certain, is unknown).

Siddiqi added that he hopes law enforcement bodies will conduct a full investigation into the “people and motives,” behind the attack.

To a degree, the very fact that Siddiqi had no compunction about stepping in front of the cameras just hours after the attack is proof that the US has lost its way.

If American elites were even semi-competent, Siddiqi would have faded into the shadows, never to emerge again 15 years ago.

Siddiqi is a known jihadist sympathizer. His close ties to jihadists have been a matter of public record since 2000.

In October 2000, Siddiqi spoke at an anti-Israel rally in Lafayette Park in Washington, DC. There he warned the American people that they must abandon their support for Israel lest “the wrath of God” be unleashed against them.

According to a profile of Siddiqi compiled by the Investigative Project on Terrorism, (IPT) in the late 1990s Siddiqi gave a speech extolling jihad and foreseeing Israel’s replacement with an Islamic state.

Among other things, Siddiqi said, “In order to gain the honor, jihad is the path, jihad is the way to receive the honor.”

Siddiqi converted Osama bin Laden’s senior aide, American jihadist Adam Gadahn. Gadahn converted to Islam at the Islamic Center of Orange County in 1995. According to a 2007 New Yorker profile, Siddiqi employed Gadahn at the Center in the years following his conversion. It was during this period that Gadahn was radicalized. He then went to Pakistan and joined al Qaida.

In 1992 Siddiqi hosted a blind sheikh named Omar Abdel Rahman at the Islamic Center. He stood beside Rahman and simultaneously translated his lecture about jihad to the audience of worshipers.

The next year, Rahman masterminded the first jihadist attack on the World Trade Center.

During the 1990s, Siddiqi served as the president of the Islamic Society of North America, a known Muslim Brotherhood front group. In 2007, ISNA was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holyland terror financing trial.

Despite all of his connections to jihadists, US authorities insist that Siddiqi is a legitimate voice. In 2007 Stephen Tidwell, then assistant director of the FBI division in Los Angeles upheld Siddiqi as a moderate.

Speaking to the IPT, Tidwell said, “We have a very strong relationship with Dr. Siddiqi.”

Hours before Obama responded to the San Bernadino massacre by lashing out at gun control opponents, Col. Steve Warren, spokesman for US Operation Inherent Resolve – the US campaign against Islamic State – rejected Russian claims that the Turkish government is collaborating with the terror state.

Warren praised the Turks as “great partners to us.”

“We flatly reject any notion that the Turks are somehow working with Islamic State. That is preposterous,” he insisted, adding, “Any thought” the Turkish government would deal or collaborate with Islamic State is “completely untrue.”

Unfortunately, a wealth of evidence indicates that it is Warren’s statement that is preposterous and completely untrue.

For nearly five years, it has been an open secret that Turkey serves as Islamic State’s logistical base. Almost all the foreigners traveling to Syria to join IS transit through Turkey.

For nearly two years, we have known that Turkey is Islamic State’s major arms supplier. And for six months we have known that they are their partners in oil exports.

In an article published this past summer in Middle East Quarterly, Burak Bekdil reported in January 2014, Turkish prosecutors acting independently from the government, dispatched forces to a border province with Syria to intercept a convoy of trucks laden with missiles, rockets and ammunition making its way to Syria. One of the truck drivers testified at the time that he and his colleagues had “carried similar loads several times before.”

The forces charged with seizing the cargo were shocked to discover the trucks were being escorted by Turkish intelligence officers.

According to Bekdil, “all hell broke loose,” after the prosecutors ordered the men arrested and the cargo seized.

The provincial governor swooped in and insisted that the convoy was traveling on direct orders from Turkish leader Recep Tayip Erdogan. Months later, the military took over the case. And today, the men who executed the arrests and cargo seizure are on trial for “international espionage.”

Bekdil reported that two months after the cargo was intercepted, a meeting took place between then foreign minister and current Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, his deputy, Feridun Sinirlioglu, the head of Turkish intelligence, Hakan Fidan and deputy chief of the Turkish general staff, Gen. Yasar Guler.

A recording of the meeting was leaked to social media. In the recording, Fidan is heard saying that “he had successfully sent two thousand trucks into Syria before.”

As to Islamic State oil sales to Turkey, this past May, US special forces executed their first known raid inside Syria. The commandos descended on the home of Islamic State’s financial chief Abu Sayyaf. US forces killed Sayyaf and seized his computers and hard drives.

Sayyaf directed Islamic State’s oil, gas and financial operations.

Last July the Guardian reported that the computer data revealed close, direct dealings between Turkish officials and Islamic State members. According to one senior Western official familiar with the contents of the documents, just from what had been uncovered in the initial study of the material, “the links [between Islamic State and the Turkish government] are already so clear that they could end up having profound policy implications for the relationship between us and Ankara.”

Yet Wednesday, in the face of an overwhelming mountain of evidence, the Americans rejected out-of-hand Russians allegations that Turkey is the main consumer of oil exports from Islamic State.

This past July, two senior Defense Intelligence Agency analysts assigned to US Central Command submitted a formal complaint to the Defense Department’s inspector general. The two claimed that their intelligence reports on Islamic State were doctored and distorted as they made their way up the feeding chain to Obama. Fifty intelligence analysts have stated their agreement with the allegations in the complaint.

The doctored reports systematically rendered portraits of the US campaign against Islamic State as successful and Islamic State as a nearly spent force, along the lines of the narrative presented by Obama and his advisors. According to the analysts, the picture painted by the doctored reports bore little resemblance to their far more negative conclusions.

According to the Daily Beast’s report, intelligence analysts began complaining to their superiors about the distortion of their reports in October 2014. Some of those analysts were urged to retire early, and some did.

According to the publication, “one person who knows the contents of the written complaint… said it used the word ‘Stalinist’ to describe the tone set by officials overseeing CENTCOM analysis.”

Following the jihadist attacks on Paris on November 13, Obama maintained his insistence that climate change is a graver threat to US national security than terrorism. It could be that this prioritization of concerns is playing a role in the administration’s apparent determination not to seriously fight Islamic State.

In an interview with Charlie Rose last month, former CIA director Michael Morell explained that the administration decided not to bomb Islamic State’s oil infrastructure “because we didn’t want to do environmental damage.”

According to the Guardian, Islamic State makes between one to four million dollars per day from oil sales.

Perhaps the shooters in San Bernadino were just mad at their boss. Maybe Farooq suffered from clinical depression or ADD, or PTSD, or something.

And maybe Islamic State, with its new colony Sirte in “liberated” Libya, just 400 miles from Italy, is on the run. Maybe as well, Turkey is just a patsy and Russia is really Islamic State’s largest trading partner, or maybe Israel is, or Ireland.

But if facts are to be taken seriously, then the fact is that in December 2015, the US is acting with pathological devotion to ideological narratives that bear no relationship to reality.

Caroline B. Glick


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

Zionist CA shooting victim threatened just before attack - Tova Dvorin

by Tova Dvorin

San Bernadino health inspector and Messianic Jew received anti-Semitic threats less than 24 hours before being murdered.

The Inland Regional Center
The Inland Regional Center
One of the 14 victims in the San Bernardino shooting spree Wednesday night identified as Jewish - and he received threats for being a "Zionist" less than 24 hours before the attack. 

Nicholas Thalasinos, 52, received threats on Facebook on Tuesday from an anti-Semitic man in Ukraine, after Thalasinos posted pro-Israel messages, CNN reports. 

Hi wife Jennifer told local news her husband, a health inspector for San Bernardino County, identified as a conservative Messianic Jew, and may have been targeted for his beliefs. He often went to work wearing a red kippah, a tallit, and a Star of David. 

"My husband was very outspoken about radical Islam, very outspoken. His Facebook page is just full of things about being outspoken about radical Islam and about the state of the country," she told local news. 

Jennifer stated she had "had a bad feeling" that her husband had died in the attack and that the two incidents may have been connected. 

"To have this happen, this man, though I know he was targeted like everyone in that group, but I'm sure he was targeting my husband because of his faith and I really feel like my husband was martyred," she said.

Tova Dvorin


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

Fatah Knives and ISIS Knives: Palestinian Child-Sacrifice - Bassam Tawil

by Bassam Tawil

  • Instead of educating our children, as they do in the West, to be part of the Startup Generation, we follow the lead of darkest Africa, where children are armed with assault rifles and sent out to kill other children.
  • If the Palestinians really want to pick a fight with Israel, why do they send children to fight a "holy war" instead of fighting it themselves, like men?
  • The only difference is that the members of ISIS go out themselves to kill; the Palestinians send their young. Why are these not "war crimes"?
  • We sacrifice our sons and daughters in the name of Allah, as though Allah were a pagan statue with an altar and had to be appeased with the blood of children.
  • Here, the Islamists want to "liberate" Jerusalem from the infidel Zionist-Crusader occupation. Next, they want to "liberate" occupied Spain, once Muslim Andalusia, and return it to the bosom of Islam. After that, they want to occupy the Vatican and establish the Islamic Emirate on the ruins of Christianity.

Recently, more and more young Palestinian men, women and children have left their homes and gone off to stab Israelis. Palestinian Authority (PA) officials claim our children make this decision independently and that no one sends them to carry out terrorist attacks. But in reality, every Palestinian knows that behind these supposedly "independent," "spontaneous" attacks there is organized, deliberate incitement, some from politicians and some from fatwas [religious opinions] issued by clerics.

One such cleric, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, sits far away in the safety of Qatar and sends Palestinian children to their deaths. The mosques and schools in the Palestinian Authority and the Gaza Strip, as well as their social media, often unashamedly exploit Palestinian children – perhaps emotionally a bit lost, and who long for admiration for a grand, "heroic act" in a grand romantic "cause."

Tragically, as Israeli forces often do not let such attackers get away, many murders these children commit also end up as needless "passive" suicides.

Our perverted leaders do not only encourage young Palestinians to commit murder. When these children are killed in the act of committing murder, both the PA and Hamas claim that that Israelis "executed" them. They then call our kids martyrs (shuhadaa), glorify them and turn them into role models for other loser kids. Then they pay their families enormous bonuses.

They send minors to do their dirty work, while knowing full well they will likely be killed by the Israeli security forces. How can we justify this to ourselves? What have we allowed to happen to the good minds that Allah gave us? Whatever happened to our sense of morality?

It is agonizing to see how these youngsters are turned into bargain basement castoffs. It is child sacrifice by a cynical Palestinian leadership that fosters a dark culture of murder and death.

If the Palestinians really want to pick a fight with Israel, why do they send children to fight a "holy war" instead of fighting it themselves, like men?

No good has come -- or is even expected to come -- from these deaths on either side. Has the situation of Al-Aqsa mosque "improved?" Is it no longer "in danger?"

The problem is, Al-Aqsa mosque never was in danger. There were also never were any poison-resistant rats, supposedly released by Israelis, as claimed by the official Palestinian news agency, Wafa, to drive Arab residents of Jerusalem out of their homes. As one Arab reporter dryly wrote, "It is not clear how these rats were taught to stay away from Jews, who also happen to live in the Old City." There was also never any chewing gum supposedly laced with an aphrodisiac by the Israelis to corrupt our men and women. Has one meter of Palestinian land ever been liberated? Are the Jews really fleeing "in terror" from Israel? On the contrary, the Jews of Europe are fleeing to Israel. Ironically, while the Jews seem divided and at each other's throats, we have only been driving them closer together.

Somehow, the Israelis always seem to overcome the abductions, suicide bombers, murders and general terrorism we Palestinians throw at them. They never retreat; they advance.

There are, then, two jobs that seem urgent. First, we need to decide, and quickly, if we really want another armed conflict with the Israelis. Second, we really need to get our kids away from our killing fields. Anyone who sends young people -- many of them probably with emotional problems -- to kill and to be killed, is a murderer himself and will be destroyed in the end.

Palestinian society seems to be regressing towards the dark era of the jahiliyyah, before Islam brought us into the light. Instead of educating our children, as they do in the West, to be part of the Startup Generation, we follow the lead of darkest Africa, where children are armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles and sent out to kill other children. We have become no better than the Iranians, who sent children, armed with plastic "Keys to Paradise," to dismantle land mines during the Iran-Iraq War. Why are these not "war crimes"?

Every day, our children drink from the poisoned well of the internet and learn how to behead and crucify and slit throats. We return to the jahiliyyah and sacrifice our sons and daughters in the name of Allah, as though Allah were a pagan statue with an altar, and had to be appeased with the blood of children. That is roughly the situation of Palestinian terrorism today. Those who neglect the education of their children need to remember that unprotected girls who today leave their homes without their parents' knowledge to go stab an Israeli today, might tomorrow bring dishonor to their home. Such a society will not frighten the Jews or anyone else. We will probably end just up raising throat-cutting fundamentalists and destroying ourselves.

We live in a sick society now, in which the laws of self-preservation demand murder and vengeance. On holidays, our children watch as we slaughter sheep, so they become accustomed to the use of knives, slit throats and flowing blood. They see videos of live people burned and drowned in Iraq and Syria. They see ISIS. Nothing shocks them. In the West, the death of a household pet, even a goldfish, brings a child to near collapse. Our kids watch sheep screaming in their last agony, and do not bat an eyelash

Islam forbids the killing of women, children and the aged, but the Palestinians receive fatwas from radical Islamists telling them to murder them anyway -- as long as they are Jews, even infants. "Tomorrow they will be soldiers," Palestinians say.

Fatwas such as this distort and twist the very foundation of our Islam in sending children to their deaths. Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and ISIS -- all the radical terrorist organizations -- festered in and grew out of the same Muslim Brotherhood Petri dish. The knives of the Palestinians are no different from the knives of ISIS. They behead children, journalists, impoverished workers and other innocent victims -- all in the in the name of Allah, and then go to carry out terrorist attacks throughout the rest of the world. The only difference is that the members of ISIS go out themselves to kill; the Palestinians send their young.

Anyone who thinks he is constructing the future of Palestine on the backs of child murderers is not only on the way to destroying Palestinian society, but on the way to hellfire as well.

The Prophet Muhammad (s.a.a.w.) and his companions also beheaded infidels -- but that was in the seventh century. There are more and more voices of devout Muslims calling for reform.

Just last week, the distinguished author, Professor Ibtihal Al-Khatib of the Kuwait University, said on television, "If we do not reform ourselves, we will become extinct. Nations which stick to principles that are at odds with the progress of civilization will come to an end. Such nations will not survive. Any attempt to justify or to legitimize terrorism is a terrorist idea; the idea and the act are equally dangerous."

Al-Khatib's statement instantly showed her to be light years more advanced than U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who idiotically blurted out that some terrorist attacks had "a legitimacy... a rationale." For this pronouncement, he was roundly and befittingly ridiculed. The excuses the terrorists find to justify murdering the innocent are infinite in number, unlimited in depravity, and they corrupt our societies.

These voices calling for reform often are held back by those who fear that their power, influence and golden jobs -- held only thanks to your zakat [tithe] -- might then be under threat. Most of us do not like to lose comforts and conveniences. Many Muslims still do not want to give up having slaves -- not only in Mauritania, but at the top tiers of the Muslim community.

But there is no justification for terrorism. The French, who so easily justify terrorism against Jews in the Middle East, now face the same situation at home. The only surprising thing is that they were surprised.

The picture of global Islamic terrorism is coming into focus. Here, the Islamists want to "liberate" Jerusalem from the infidel Zionist-Crusader occupation. Next, they also want to "liberate" occupied Spain, once Muslim Andalusia, and return it to the bosom of Islam. After that, they want to occupy the Vatican and establish the Islamic Emirate on the ruins of Christianity, as they did in heir "Golden Age" when they captured Constantinople, the capital of Byzantium.

While the Jews excel at improving agriculture, winning Nobel Prizes, inventing life-saving medicine, founding startups and in general advancing cutting-edge global science and technology, we Palestinians, hurtling back toward jahiliyyah, have given the world nothing but terrorism and death.

Even before the Palestinian Abdullah Azzam became Osama bin Laden's mentor, the Palestinians were waging a global terrorist campaign. Palestinian terrorism got into gear in the 1970s. In May 1972, passengers on the ground in Israel's Lod Airport (now Ben Gurion International Airport) were massacred. In September 1972, they slaughtered Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics. In May 1974, they slaughtered Israeli children in Maalot. In 1976, they hijacked an Air France plane on its way from Tel Aviv to Paris, and singled the Jewish passengers out. In 1978, on the Israel's Coastal Road, they massacred civilians in a bus. In 1985, they hijacked the ship, the Achille Lauro, on its way from Egypt and threw a 69-year-old, wheelchair-ridden invalid "heroically" overboard.

The list goes on and on -- from suicide bombings in buses, cafés, hotels, kindergartens, shopping centers, and discotheques, most often targeting the civilian population -- to today's current wave of attacks on Israelis on the streets, in their cars and at worship.

And now what? Our Palestinian leaders defend these underage knife-wielders by explaining that they try to kill Jewish civilians because of the "occupation," or because "Al-Aqsa mosque is in danger" -- false claims finally put to rest by a Palestinian poll last week.

Even as our children are manipulated into killing themselves, there are still Fatah leaders, such as Abbas Zaki, a senior activist in the Fatah organization, who delude themselves into thinking there is some benefit to be gained from another useless intifada or from ending security coordination with Israel. He and those like him might do well to recall that, as most Palestinians know perfectly well, security coordination with Israel is first and foremost in their interest. It keeps the Palestinian Authority from collapsing: it protects our leaders from assassination at the hands of Hamas, as was the fate of Fatah leaders in the Gaza Strip. It is the only guarantee we have of the eventual establishment of a Palestinian state.

We also might do well to remember the results of the first two intifadas. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of Palestinians died, but the Israelis did not move a meter. We carry out terrorist campaign after terrorist campaign, and the violence gets us nowhere and brings us nothing -- not from Israel and not from the international community.

If we really want to have our Palestinian State, we can have it tomorrow. All we have to do is change our image as terrorists.

Bassam Tawil is a scholar based in the Middle East


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

Freedom Center Pressures Universities on Support for Pro-Terror Groups - David Horowitz

by David Horowitz

The Center exposes mouthpieces for terror on U.S. campuses -- and challenges school presidents to withdraw their institution's support.

Learn more about the Freedom Center's Stop the Jihad on Campus campaign.

Recent news reports of racial extortion and attacks on free speech on some of our elite college campuses have raised questions about the value of higher education in America today.  Less discussed but more prevalent is an even more disturbing issue—the dominating presence in our universities of activist groups acting as mouthpieces for Islamist terrorism.

The David Horowitz Freedom Center recently concluded an intensively researched, carefully documented report on The Top Ten U.S. Colleges Most Friendly to Terrorists. They are (in alphabetical order) Brandeis University; Columbia University; Harvard University; Rutgers University (New Brunswick); San Francisco State University; University of California, Irvine; University of California, Los Angeles, University of California, San Diego, University of Michigan, and University of New Mexico.

The ten case histories in this report present a disturbing picture of campus communities—among them some of the most prestigious colleges in the country—where groups parroting the violent propaganda of Hamas and other terror organizations promote a hate filled agenda aimed at the destruction of Israel and the extermination of the Jewish people. This  nationally coordinated effort, which is spearheaded by Students for Justice  in Palestine (SJP) and the Muslim Students Association (MSA), both of which were planted in the U.S. by members of a terrorist organization, the Muslim Brotherhood, is not only tolerated but supported and funded by administrators at these schools who rigorously restrain  other hate groups through codes of conduct that in this case are ignored.

Because the funding, housing and political free reign given to these front groups for terror threatens the physical security of Jewish students and the national security of our country, the Freedom Center has sent copies of this report to the Presidents and Chairs of the Boards of Trustees of these ten colleges, along with a letter calling on them to withdraw the funding, housing  and other symbols of legitimacy given to these groups whose objectives are so deeply inimical to the intellectual purposes of the university and so hostile to U.S. national security.

These letters direct the university presidents’ attention to the following facts:
  • That both Students for Justice in Palestine and the Muslim Students Association  promote a terror agenda by sponsoring annual campus events called “Israeli Apartheid Weeks,” whose sole purpose is to demonize Israel in terms dictated by Hamas and to promote the destruction of the Jewish State.  In fact, far from being a contemporary racist analogue of the post war South African regime, Israel has more than a million Palestinian citizens who enjoy more civil rights and civil liberties than they would if they lived in Gaza or the West Bank or  indeed any Arab country.
  • That both SJP and MSA are chief sponsors of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, whose goal is to kill the Jewish State by economic strangulation. This death threat is aimed at the one country in the Middle East that fundamentally opposes the oppression of women and violence against homosexuals—fundamental commitments of the modern American university as well-- that is otherwise a basic and enduring feature of governments throughout the region.
  • That in serving as a mouthpiece for Hamas and defaming Jews as racists, colonizers and baby killers, the SJP and MSA are bringing to the campus public square the hate-filled propaganda of a group whose declared goal is the extermination of the Jews “from the river to the sea.”  These groups are, quite simply, acting as mouthpieces for an ideology of genocide.
  • And finally that in giving the SJP and MSA and other groups with different names but similar agendas the status of legitimate members of the multicultural campus community, with offices, student funds, and the right to hold what can only be regarded as festivals of hate on university property, the administrators of these ten schools are spitting in the face of their own rules and regulations which would stringently deny such support, say, to the Ku Klux Klan or other such organizations whose only objective was stigmatizing a group and fomenting violence against it.
The Freedom Center has requested that the Presidents of the schools named in the Top Ten Colleges Most Friendly to Terrorists withdraw their administrations’ active support for the Students for Justice in Palestine, the Muslim Students Association, and other front groups for terror, thereby ensuring a civil discourse on their campuses, as well as a respect for the basic truths about a deeply and dangerously troubled region of the world. We have also forwarded copies of this report to key alumni and the  local media in the communities where these schools are located.

David Horowitz was one of the founders of the New Left in the 1960s and an editor of its largest magazine, Ramparts. He is the author, with Peter Collier, of three best selling dynastic biographies: The Rockefellers: An American Dynasty (1976); The Kennedys: An American Dream (1984); and The Fords: An American Epic (1987).


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The post Munich 'Golda Doctrine' and Mahmoud Abbas - David Bedein

by David Bedein

Israel did not sit idly by when, after the horrific Munich massacre, Germany released the imprisoned terrorists in order to save the passengers on a hijacked Lufthansa flight. It has not, however, finished the job.

The New York Times review of the forthcoming documentary "Munich 1972 and Beyond", the story of the horrendous murder of eleven defenseless Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games and the release of information by two of their widows on the torture and mutilation they suffered has sparked a surge of interest in that terror attack and its consequences.

At the time, I was a student in Jerusalem, following every horrific moment of the unfolding story on the radio into the wee hours of the night. It is hard to forget the young people in Israel with their heads bowed at the sight of their sports heroes returned home in flag draped caskets, having fallen victim to the bestial PLO killers.

Yet there was pride in all walks of life in Israel when  then Prime Minister Golda Meir announced that the Israeli government had issued a death warrant to kill all those responsible for the Munich killings, to "turn the hunted into prey" :

That Golda Doctrine received support and even adulation from the entire Knesset.

Documents released by the Israeli government from the Israeli Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee meeting after the Munich attacks focused on the discussion about how to fight the PLO.

MK Yaacov Hazan, leader of the left wing Mapam party, argued that this was a difficult war like all wars, and therefore: “We must not only defend ourselves, but also attack. We must search for the terrorists and kill them. We must change them from hunters to prey”.

Subsequent debates in the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on the subject of the  war on terrorism were held with the participation of  Prime Minister Meir, on October 24th, 1972 . On  November 3rd, 1972, the Knesset committee  resumed debate, after a Lufthansa hijacking which resulted in West Germany releasing the Munich terrorists

The session was held in a heated atmosphere, and it was agreed that the time had come, as suggested by  Hazan, to change the role of the terrorists from "hunters to hunted," and to do so in cooperation with local security forces; and if this was not possible, "without them".

Likud opposition leader Menachem Begin proposed creating a special unit for the war on terror, and recruiting the best people who had dealt in covert operations in the past, such as [future prime minister] Yitzhak Shamir, Isser Harel and others. “If, in fact, we do this, we can change the situation in a short time. It doesn’t require many years until we eliminate them to a great extent”, he said.

Israeli left wing Labor icon Lova Eliav argued that Israel must hit not only the terrorists in the UNRWA refugee camps in Lebanon and Syria, as was done immediately following the Munich massacre, but also their leaders.

And so the decision was taken, by the Israeli government, with the support of the Knesset, to hunt down and kill all leaders responsible for the Munich attacks.

And that is what Israel did, killing off one PLO  leader after another responsible for the murder of eleven Israeli athletes at the Olympic Games in Munich.

All but one. There is one PLO leader still at large, with blood on his hands from the Munich attack: Mahmoud Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen, the man who, it has been proven, planned and financed the barbaric Munich attack

No new Israeli government decision would be necessary to target Abbas, as a memorial to the eleven Israeli athletes, whose murder he arranged.

In Israel, there is no statute of limitations on war crimes.

Abbas has never expressed any remorse for his actions in Munich. Instead, Abbas makes it his policy to laud those who murder Israelis in terror acts, name streets and schools after them, and, as has now been revealed, allocates funds to remunerate those who serve life terms for conducting cold blooded  murders of Israelis.

David Bedein


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

Trump plans to force peace talks - a la Obama? - Ari Yashar

by Ari Yashar

Ahead of Israel trip, Trump places onus for lack of peace deal on Israel, saying it has to prove if it's 'willing to sacrifice.'

Donald Trump
Donald Trump
Ahead of his trip to Israel this month, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump revealed in an interview Thursday that forcing peace talks on Israel will head his priorities if elected - and that the onus for the lack of peace lies on the Jewish state, not the Palestinian Authority (PA).

"I have a real question as to whether or not both sides want to make it," Trump told The Associated Press, clarifying that he has more concerns regarding "one side in particular."

"A lot will have to do with Israel and whether or not Israel wants to make the deal - whether or not Israel's willing to sacrifice certain things," Trump said. "They may not be, and I understand that, and I'm OK with that. But then you're just not going to have a deal."

Trump's focus on Israel may strike some as ironic, given that the state is currently embroiled in an Arab terror wave that PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has actively encouraged, recently calling the murder of Jews "peaceful."

The real estate guru promised: "if I win, I'll let you know six months from the time I take office" whether or not a peace deal is possible.

"I think if I get elected, that would be something I'd really like to do," said Trump without specifying how he would achieve an elusive peace deal. "Because so much death, so much turmoil, so much hatred - that would be to me a great achievement. As a single achievement, that would be a really great achievement."

Trump's gung ho approach to starting up peace talks may raise concerns, given how they echo US President Barack Obama's insistence on addressing the issue. US Secretary of State John Kerry forced through nine-month-long talks starting in late 2013, that the PA torpedoed in April 2014 when it signed a unity deal with Hamas. The talks were accompanied by an upswing in terror attacks.

Judea-Samaria building a 'huge sticking point'
Trump said he would meet early with top regional leaders, visiting Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu "sometime after Christmas, probably."

"You know, I'm going to be probably going over there pretty soon and I want to see him, I want to see other people, I want to get some ideas on it," said Trump, who claimed he was a "big, big fan" of Israel.

According to the businessman, the only way to solve the Israel-Palestinian issue is "if you had a real dealmaker, somebody that knew what he or she is doing. I'll be able to tell in one sit-down meeting with the real leaders."

While avoiding specifics about whether the PA's demands are legitimate, Trump called Israeli construction in Judea and Samaria a "huge sticking point" in talks.

Asked if his goal is a two-state solution, by which Israel would be divided to create a "Palestine," he said, "well, I'm not going to even say that."

But he expressed his enthusiasm at the prospect of making a peace deal, saying, "if you can make that deal, you can make any deal. It's probably the toughest deal to make."

Regarding the prospect of peace, In late October PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas said all of Israel is "the occupation," showing his intentions to conquer the entire state, and last month he revealed for the first time that he rejected the offer of a Palestinian state back in 2008.

Abbas, whose term in office officially ended in January 2009, gave credence in June to calls by Jewish nationalists arguing that a Palestinian state should be set up in Jordan, when he called Jordanian and Palestinian Arabs "one people living in two states."

Ari Yashar


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Obama and Israel: Nothing Has Changed, Nothing Will Change - Abraham H. Miller

by Abraham H. Miller

As in 2008, Israelis understand who and what Obama is, while American Jews continue to refuse to acknowledge the reality before their eyes. 

Amid the hoopla of the 2008 election campaign, when much of the world saw candidate Barack Obama as the very incarnation of the messiah, and some even openly proclaimed him so, the Israelis were not buying the narrative. Neither have they since.

Their skepticism was not to be disconfirmed. If Candidate Obama's embrace of the anti-Israel narrative of Rashid Khalidi or Edward Said was insufficient, there was President Obama's speech in Cairo, to which he insisted the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood be invited.

In this speech, Obama conveniently ignored the historic Jewish ties to the land of Israel and invoked the Holocaust as the reason for Israel's existence. Even the left-leaning Ha'aretz newspaper found this sufficiently objectionable to call for Obama to rectify his misleading statements.

This narrative, fashionable throughout the Islamic world and one that denies there were ever Jews in the land of Judea is now orthodoxy among the mindless, atheistic Left, with whom Obama shares ideological kinship.

To Obama, the Jews are intruders. Never mind that many of those who now call themselves Palestinians are descendants from Egyptian, Yemeni, Syrian, and other Arab families that migrated to the British Mandate of Palestine as returning Jews began developing the area in the 1920s. Where Jews began development, there was a strong influx of neighboring Arabs to meet the demand for labor.

Edward Said himself, as well as Yasser Arafat, were not Palestinians but Egyptians who falsified their birthplace.

The Arabs and their leftist allies make it appear that it was only after the Holocaust that Jews came to the land and had no connection with it. After all, Abraham was a Muslim as was Moses, and no amount of archaeological evidence will convince either the Muslims or the leftist allies that the Davidic dynasty actually existed.

Even the New York Times questioned the existence of the Jewish Temples -- later amended -- but never questioned whether Mohammed rose to heaven from the Al Aqsa Mosque on a steed that was half-human and half-animal.

Yet, the Arabs and their leftist allies fail to deal with the reality of the Arab migration to a land that was a mixture of swamp and desert transformed by Jewish immigration, the largest block of which were not Holocaust survivors but the Arab[ic]-speaking Jews, who were ethnically cleansed -- as the Christians are now -- from the Middle East.

Nurtured in a Muslim home, reared on leftist ideology, sitting at the feet of a minister who is a virulent anti-Semite, bonding with leftist Jews in his Hyde Park neighborhood, Obama comes to any negotiation about the Arab/Israeli conflict with a mindset that is no different from that of any Palestinian.

To Obama, the Jews are interlopers and deserve what the Palestinians give them. The Palestinians are the Kenyans of his forebears' struggle against the British. His mind is so wrapped in the dual culture of his maternal leftism and his paternal devotion to Islam that there is no way to break into it.

He really believes that it is the settlements that are the obstacle to peace, ignoring that before there was a single settlement there was no more peace than there is today. He ignores that the Palestinian leadership is both illegitimate and exploitative of the largess the international community provided to advance the economic interests of the Palestinian people.

The international community’s generosity has ended up in the personal coffers of Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas.

Obama's administration willfully ignores every form of Palestinian incitement, trying to find moral equivalence between Jewish victims of stab wounds and knife-wielding Palestinians.

Not since John Foster Dulles ran the Department of State have relations between the United States and Israel been at such a nadir. Obama's partisans will point out that arms sales to Israel continue, while ignoring that the vital strategic edge diminishes, that the Iranians are now free to acquire the world's most advanced weapons, and that arms sales to Israel are really a subsidy to American industry.

Obama strongarmed Netanyahu into apologizing to Turkey after its citizens tried to run a legal blockade of Gaza and some ended up dead as a result of a violent confrontation with Israeli soldiers legally boarding their ship. Yet, when Turkey recently and unnecessarily shot down a Russian aircraft, Obama closed ranks behind Turkey. There is not a remote chance, despite the dangers, Obama will compel Turkey to apologize to Russia.

As in 2008, Israelis understand who and what Obama is, while American Jews continue to refuse to acknowledge the reality before their eyes. Having voted overwhelmingly for Obama, not once but twice, the psychological dissonance is too great to acknowledge.

Obama's political socialization and ideology preclude him from ever being a friend of Israel. That is the inescapable reality that most Israelis understand now as they did in 2008.

Abraham H. Miller is an emeritus professor of political science at the University of Cincinnati, and a senior fellow with the Salomon Center for American Jewish Thought.


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The Logic of Islamic Intolerance - Raymond Ibrahim

by Raymond Ibrahim

And why Western illogic cannot comprehend or respond to Islamic jihad.

Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

A sermon delivered by popular Saudi Sheikh Muhammad Salih al-Munajjid clearly demonstrates why Western secular relativists and multi culturalists—who currently dominate media, academia, and politics—are incapable of understanding, much less responding to, the logic of Islamic intolerance.
During his sermon, al-Munajjid said that “some [Muslim] hypocrites” wonder why it is that “we [Muslims] don’t permit them [Western people] to build churches, even though they allow mosques to be built.”  The Saudi sheikh responded by saying that any Muslim who thinks this way is “ignorant” and
Wants to equate between right and wrong, between Islam and kufr [non-Islam], monotheism and shirk [polytheism], and gives to each side equal weight, and wants to compare this with that, and he asks: “Why don't we build them churches like they build us mosques? So we allow them this in return for that?”  Do you want another other than Allah to be worshiped?  Do you equate between right and wrong? Are Zoroastrian fire temples, Jewish temples, Christian churches, monks’ monasteries, and Buddhist and Hindu temples, equal to you with the houses of Allah and mosques? So you compare this with that? And you equate this with that?  Oh! Unbelievable, for he who equates between Islam and kufr [non-Islam], and Allah said: “Whoever desires a religion other than Islam, never will it be accepted from him, and in the Hereafter he will be among the losers” (Koran 3:85).  And Prophet Muhamad said: “By Him in whose hand is the life of Muhamad (By Allah) he who amongst the Jews or Christians hears about me, but does not affirm his belief in that which I have been sent, and dies in his state (of disbelief), he shall be of the residents of Hellfire." 

What’s interesting about the sheikh’s zealous diatribe is that, although “intolerant” from a Western perspective, it is, in fact, quite logically consistent and reveals the wide gap between Islamic rationalism and Western fantasy (despite how oxymoronic this dichotomy might sound).

If, as Munajjid points out, a Muslim truly believes that Islam is the only true religion, and that Muhammad is its prophet, why would he allow that which is false (and thus corrupt, cancerous, misleading, etc.) to exist alongside it?  Such gestures of “tolerance” would be tantamount to a Muslim who “wants to equate between right and wrong,” as the sheikh correctly deplores.

Indeed, not only does Islam, like traditional Christianity, assert that all other religions are wrong, but under Islamic law, Hindus, and Buddhists are so misguided that they must be warred against until they either accept the “truth,” that is, converting to Islam, or else being executed (Koran 9:5). As for the so-called “people of the book”—Jews and Christians—they may practice their religions, but only after being subdued (Koran 9:29) and barred from building or renovating churches and synagogues and a host of other debilitations that keep their (false) religious practices and symbols (Bibles, crosses, etc.) suppressed and out of sight.

From an Islamic paradigm—where Allah is the true god and Muhammad his final messenger—“intolerance” for other religions is logical and difficult to condemn.

The “altruistic” aspect of Islamic “intolerance” is especially important.  If you truly believe that there is only one religion that leads to paradise and averts damnation, is it not altruistic to share it with humanity, rather than hypocritically maintaining that all religions lead to God and truth? 

After blasting the concept of interfaith dialogue as beyond futile, since “what is false is false—even if a billion individuals agree to it; and truth is truth—even if only one who has submitted [a Muslim] holds on to it,” the late Osama bin Laden once wrote that “Battle, animosity, and hatred—directed from the Muslim to the infidel—is the foundation of our religion. And we consider this a justice and kindness to them” (The Al Qaeda Reader, pgs. 42-43).

Note the altruistic justification: It is a “justice and kindness” to wage jihad on non-Muslims in the hopes that they convert to Islam.  According to this logic, jihadis will always be as the “good guys”—meaning that terrorism, extortion, sex-jihad, etc., will continue to be rationalized away as ugly but necessary means to altruistic ends: the empowerment of, and eventual world conversion to, Islam.   

All of this logic is alien to postmodern Western epistemology, which takes for granted that a) there are no objective “truths,” certainly not in the field of theology, and that b) religion’s ultimate purpose is to make this life as peaceful and pleasant as possible (hence why “interfaith dialogue” in the West is not about determining the truth—which doesn’t exist anyway—but finding and highlighting otherwise superficial commonalities between different religions so they can all get along in the now).

The net result of all this? On the one hand, Muslims, who believe in truth—that is, in the teachings of Islam—will continue attacking the “false,” that is, everything and everyone un-Islamic.  And no matter how violent, Islamic jihad—terrorism—will always be exonerated in Muslim eyes as fundamentally “altruistic.” On the other hand, Western secularists and multiculturalists, who believe in nothing and deem all cultures and religions equal, will continue to respect Islam and empower Muslims, convinced that terrorism is an un-Islamic aberration destined to go away—that is, they will continue disbelieving their own eyes.  Such is the offspring of that unholy union between Islamic logic and Western fallacy.  

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


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Muslim "No-go Zones" in Europe? - Daniel Pipes

by Daniel Pipes

"We don't officially have no-go zones in Brussels, but in reality, there are, and they are [found] in Molenbeek."

The existence of "no-go zones" in predominantly Muslim areas in Europe has been a major topic of conversation since the latest Paris massacre on Nov. 13, primarily due to the assailants' many connections to Molenbeek, a heavily Muslim district of Brussels. This discussion brings to mind my visit to a drug- and crime-infested slum of 7,000 inhabitants in Marseilles, France, on Jan. 29, to see the situation for myself.

A typical housing block for immigrants in Marseille, France.

I entered the housing complex in an unmarked but recognizable city-owned car driven by a city employee who had been tasked with showing me around. Unfortunately, being mostly a paper-pusher and not experienced in the field, he got spooked and abruptly turned around to leave, raising suspicions among the drug dealers around us, who proceeded to set off the alarm.

A motorcyclist and a truck then zipped ahead of us and boxed us in on a nearby highway. Sitting in the car's front passenger seat, I was accosted and threatened by four young thugs. The city rep pleaded with them, telling them I was a visiting sociologist. They responded first with threatening comments and then by throwing a piece of concrete the size of a football through the back window. Luckily no on was injured, and they let us leave after the intimidating incident had concluded. I provided the mayor's office with audio, video, and still photographs of the thugs and their license plates.

I have kept quiet about this incident for ten months in the hopes that the French judicial system would function. As of today, however no one has been apprehended, no charges have been filed, and to my knowledge, no real investigation ever took place.

This incident was the great exception to my 28 other visits to predominantly Muslim areas in Australia, North America, and Western Europe. In all of these places – call them ZUS (French: Zones Urbaines Sensibles, or Sensitive Urban Zones): I "went" without problems, traveling sometimes alone, sometimes not, in an anonymous rental car during daylight hours wearing normal Western casual male clothing – not in a police uniform, a priest's habit, skimpy clothing, or with a kippa.

In many ZUS, I got out and walked around; nearly everywhere I took pictures. In some, I stopped and made purchases, had a meal, or visited a mosque. I did nothing provocative like evangelize, march in a gay pride parade, recruit for the army, or take pictures of drug dealers. I was not a threat. I then "left," none the worse for the experience. My forays into the ZUS suggest that they are in fact go-zones for innoc[u]ous civilians. Even in Marseilles, had I shown up in a rental car, the thugs would likely have welcomed me as a potential drug customer.

In contrast, Brice De Ruyver, the former security adviser to a Belgian prime minister, has stated that "We don't officially have no-go zones in Brussels, but in reality, there are, and they are [found] in Molenbeek." Yet, I drove and walked about Molenbeek, also in January, freely taking pictures of people on the street, stores, and whatever caught my fancy, and no one paid me attention. I felt completely safe.

A street scene in one of the heavily Muslim areas of Brussels, taken as I walked solo through the neighborhood.

Likewise, I earlier strolled through Rinkeby, a notorious district of Stockholm, on a November 2014 afternoon without encountering so much as a hostile stare; yet a local policeman has testified in reference to Rinkeby that, "If we're in pursuit of a vehicle, it can evade us by driving to certain neighborhoods where a lone patrol car simply cannot follow because we'll get pelted by rocks and even face riots. These are no-go zones. We simply can't go there."

How to reconcile these experiences? My visits establish that non-Muslim civilians can usually enter majority-Muslim areas without fear. But things look very different from the governmental point of view. On a routine basis, firefighters, ambulance workers, and even social workers meet with hostility and violence. For example, days after I visited the Marseille slum, its residents shot at police preparing for a visit by the prime minister of France. Thus does it and its ilk represent a no-go zone for police, a place which government representatives enter only when heavily armed, in convoys, temporarily, and with a specific mission.

The term no-go zone is informal (apparently deriving from American military argot); dictionaries ascribe it two meanings in line with my conclusions: either (1) ordinary people staying away from an area out of fear or (2) the representatives of the state entering only under exceptional circumstances. ZUS do not fit the first descripton but do fit the second.

One of the more interesting stores I saw in the Paris suburb of St. Denis.

Whether or not Molenbeek, Rinkeby, and the Marseilles slum are no-go zones, then, depends on what aspect one choses to emphasize – their acessibility to ordinary visitors at ordinary times or their inaccessibility to government officials in times of tension. There are also no-go gradations, some places where attacks are more frequent and violent, others less so. However one sums up this complex situation – maybe partial-no-go zones? – they represent a great danger.

Mr. Pipes (, @DanielPipes) is president of the Middle East Forum. © 2015 by Daniel Pipes. All rights reserved.

Dec. 2, 2015 addenda: (1) This is my third and – I hope – final assessment of the no-go zone issue. The first was in 2006, when I translated the official French designation of Zones Urbaines Sensibles (ZUS) as no-go zones. The second was in January 2015, when I revoked this term on the basis of personal experience. Now, here, I find it partially applicable and partially not, where they are no-go zones primarily for representatives of the state, regardless of religion.

(2) The 28 largely heavily Muslim areas in Western countries that I have visited:
  • 6 areas outside Europe: Dearborn and Hamtramck, Michigan; Lodi, California; Queens, New York; Mississauga, Canada; and Lakemba, Australia.
  • 7 in Europe outside France: Antwerp, Athens, Berlin, Brussels, Copenhagen, Malmö, and Stockholm.
  • 7 in France outside Paris: the ZUS in Beziers, Lunel, Marseilles, Montpellier, Nice, Perpignan, and Toulon.
  • 8 in the Paris region: Barbès–Rochechouart, Belleville, Clichy-sous-Bois, Clignancourt, Gennevilliers, Sarcelles, Seine-Saint-Denis, and Val d'Oise.
(3) Some dictionary definitions of the informal terms no-go zone and no-go area:
  • American Heritage: "an area into which entry is forbidden, restricted, or reputed to be dangerous."
  • Cambridge: "an ​area, ​especially in a ​town, where it is very ​dangerous to go, usually because a ​group of ​people who have ​weapons ​prevent the ​police, ​army, and other ​people from ​entering."
  • Collins: "a district in a town that is barricaded off, usually by a paramilitary organization, within which the police, army, etc, can only enter by force."
  • Macmillan's: "an area in a town that is not considered to be safe because there are high levels of crime and violence there."
  • Miriam-Webster: "an area into which entry is forbidden or dangerous."

Daniel Pipes is president of the Middle East Forum. © 2015 by Daniel Pipes. All rights reserved.


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West Bank settlements are legal, Foreign Ministry asserts - Times of Israel Staff

by Times of Israel Staff

Official document distributed to Israeli diplomats says Jewish communities beyond Green Line are ‘not colonization’

Illustrative photo of a security fence around a Jewish settlement in the West Bank (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
Illustrative photo of a security fence around a Jewish settlement in the West Bank (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
The construction and establishment of Jewish settlements in the West Bank is legal under both Israeli and international law, as well as justified on historical and ethical grounds, according to a new document drafted by the Foreign Ministry.

The document, presented in a Channel 2 report Thursday, was issued under the directive of Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely and distributed to Israeli diplomats across the globe. It states that Israel has “valid property claims” to West Bank territory, as “Jewish affinity” with the region and in cities such as Hebron is thousands of years old. 

According to the document, “These are not new communities, and not ‘colonization,'” and therefore, the “section of the Geneva Convention which prohibits the transfer of a population to occupied lands does not apply” in the case of the West Bank. “Never at any point of time in history were Jerusalem or the West Bank under Palestinian Arab sovereignty,” according to the document.

The document notes that Jewish communities beyond the Green Line “were established in a judicial proceeding under the supervision of [Israel’s] Supreme Court.” It further argues that Israel’s disengagement from the Gaza Strip in 2005 was a “unilateral political decision,” and does not exhibit a “realization of any sort of legal obligation.”

From a vantage point near the Temple Mount, Tzipi Hotovely waves the Israeli flag, with the Dome of the Rock in the background, May 1, 2014. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
From a vantage point near the Temple Mount, Tzipi Hotovely waves the Israeli flag, with the Dome of the Rock in the background, May 1, 2014. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

However, the document does concede that Israel “recognizes that the Palestinians also have claims in the area,” and that for that reason, “the two parties expressed an explicit agreement to settle all outstanding disputes, including the future of the settlements, within the framework of direct bilateral negotiations.”

The document was drafted at Hotovely’s behest after she discovered that the Foreign Ministry’s directives on the country’s official stance on the West Bank had not been updated in 14 years, Channel 2 reported.

The Prime Minister’s Office would not comment on the new directive.

A majority of Western legal scholars outside of Israel view the establishment of West Bank settlements as illegal under international law, as the state has deliberately refrained from annexing most of the territory captured during the 1967 Six Day War, and has not granted Palestinians in the region Israeli citizen rights.

One result of Israel’s refusal to annex the West Bank has been the creation of a territory trapped in a legal limbo under the officially temporary legal jurisdiction of the IDF’s Central Command. The military governor of the West Bank, who is also the IDF’s OC Central Command, is empowered to issue military directives related to civilian life in the area — including labor protections, regulation of commerce and the like.

The West Bank settlement of Kochav Yaakov. (CC BY-SA Jonathan Caras/Wikimedia Commons)
The West Bank settlement of Kochav Yaakov. (CC BY-SA Jonathan Caras/Wikimedia Commons)

Last month, Israeli officials confirmed that Foreign Ministry cadets would tour West Bank settlements and learn how to defend their legality, as well as hear lectures on Judaism and tour the City of David archaeological site in East Jerusalem. The new additions to the cadet course were made in a joint effort of Hotovely and Foreign Ministry director Dore Gold, a confidant of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Hotovely, a hawkish lawmaker in Likud, was recently reprimanded by Netanyahu for saying that she “dreams” of building the Third Temple at the Temple Mount.

Last year, the government reportedly decided to adopt certain recommendations of a report that asserts that Israel is not occupying the West Bank. The report, authored by the late Supreme Court justice Edmund Levy in 2012, two years before his death, concluded that the establishment of settlements in the West Bank does not breach international law, and that Jews can legally make their homes there. It also stated that “Israel does not meet the criteria of ‘military occupation’ as defined under international law” in the West Bank, and therefore the settlements and outposts are legal, since there is no provision in international law prohibiting Jewish settlement in the area.

The Levy Report recommended easing regulations on Jewish settlement in the West Bank by regulating zoning and planning, halting scheduled demolitions and planning building in accordance with population growth.

The findings of the Levy report are at odds with previous legal opinions, most notably the 2005 report by attorney Talia Sasson compiled for prime minister Ariel Sharon, which found that some 120 West Bank outposts were illegal.

JTA contributed to this report.

Times of Israel Staff


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