Saturday, March 26, 2016

Is this World War III? - Yoav Limor

by Yoav Limor

The Brussels attacks made the West realize it is time to step up its war on Islamic State • The battle ahead will be long and brutal, but if the moderate Arab states and the West band together, it can be won.

Staff and rescuers stand outside Brussels' Zaventem Airport, Wednesday
|Photo credit: Reuters

Yoav Limor


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

An Ahmadi Night Out - Hugh Fitzgerald

by Hugh Fitzgerald

There have been more than 28,000 separate terrorist attacks by Muslims since 9/11/2001. These have often accompanied by the Islamic war cry of “Allahu akbar” – the supremacist “Our God Is Greater” — or by the chanting of verses from the Qur’an.

Faith Presbyterian Church and Ahmadiyya Muslim Community host program in Indianapolis to fight fear of Islamic faith with knowledge.” So says the article “What you need to know about ISIS and Islam,” Olivia Lewis, Indianapolis Star, March 19, 2016:
The best way to disband fear is to educate, said the hosts of a faith-based event on ISIS and the Islamic religion.
The best way to educate oneself about Islam is to read and re-read, with appropriate commentary, the Qur’an and Hadith and Sira. The least good way is to limit oneself to the taqiyya-and-kitman of Muslim apologists. Educating oneself about Islam, its texts and teachings, is more likely to increase alarm than to “disband fear.” In particular, the realization that the Qur’an contains 109 so-called “Jihad verses” calling for warfare against non-Muslims, until they convert to Islam, or are killed, or accept the permanently inferior status of “dhimmi,” and that this Qur’an is regarded as immutable, is hardly likely to relieve Infidel worry. The more you learn about Islam, the more worried you become.
More than 100 people were at Faith Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis on Saturday for an event with the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community of Indiana to condemn the violence of the Islamic State, or ISIS, and to inform others of the peaceful intent of most in the Muslim community.
“We want to tell everybody that those terrorists and extremists do not represent Islam,” said Muzaffar Ahmab, spokesman for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community of Indiana. “They have a distorted view of Islamic teachings.”
How many terrorist attacks by Muslims, all over the world, would it take for a person of common sense to come to the conclusion that “those terrorists and extremists” do “represent Islam”? There have been more than 28,000 separate terrorist attacks by Muslims since 9/11/2001. These have often accompanied by the Islamic war cry of “Allahu akbar” – the supremacist “Our God Is Greater” — or by the chanting of verses from the Qur’an. Triumphalist manifestos have been issued by the Islamic State, justifying its murderous behavior by citing verses in the Qur’an. And what conceivable peaceful interpretation could be given to such Qur’anic verses as “We will put terror into the hearts of the unbelievers (Jews and Christians). They serve other Gods for whom no sanction has been revealed. Hell shall be their home; dismal indeed is the dwelling place of the evil-doers.” (Qur’an 3:149), or “Do you fear the unbelievers (Jews and Christians)? Surely Allah is more worthy of your fear. If you are true believers make war on them; Allah will chastise them through you and humble them. He will grant you victory over them and heal the spirit of the faithful.” (Qur’an 9:14) or this one, chanted while mass beheadings are being filmed: “Satan has gained possession of the People of the Book (Jews and Christians) and caused them to forget Allah’s warnings. They are the confederates of Satan; Satan’s confederates shall assuredly be lost in hell. The Believers are the confederates of Allah (Hizbollah); and Allah’s confederates shall surely triumph.” (Qur’an 58:19).

Yet we are asked to please ignore all that and a hundred sundry verses more, and allow ourselves to believe Muzaffar Ahmab: “Those terrorists and extremists do not represent Islam.”
In a two-hour presentation, speakers from both the Muslim and Christian communities spoke about peace, prayer and their beliefs. David Carlson, a professor of religious studies at Franklin College, spoke about the political differences between the U.S. and the Middle East. People often try to speak with him after his presentations.
“A lot of people say ‘I realized I don’t know anything about Islam,’ ” Carlson said.
Ahmab, treasurer of Ahmadiyya, said the organization partners with churches to host events like this to counter the message of Islamic extremists.
Ahmab said there is a misconception that all Muslims are the same and that ISIS is targeting Christians and Jews. However, Ahmab said the extremists have also killed Muslims who say they don’t agree with the violence.
“Organizations like ISIS are a threat to the safety and security of this world, of our country,” Ahmab said.
During the question-and-answer period, Yahya Luqman, an Imam for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Indiana, Ohio and Michigan, told the crowd that verses from the Quran that are quoted in the media are often taken out of context, which relay a false perception of violence.
The problem is not some misconception that “all Muslims are the same,” but that the core text of Islam – the Qur’an – is violent, does preach and teach the need to hate and fight the Infidel, and is a text both immutable and uncreated, which all Muslims are supposed to accept as authoritative. And the figure of Muhammad as presented in the Hadith and Sira is perhaps even more disturbing. For Muhammad, presented as exemplary for all time, as the Perfect Man, al-insan al-kamil, the Model of Conduct, uswa hasana – turns out to be a blood-drenched warrior who watched with pleasure and participated in the cold-blooded killing of 600-900 bound prisoners of the Banu Qurayza, had people murdered for mocking him in verse (Abu Afak, Asma Bint Marwan), attacked the inoffensive Jewish farmers of the Khaybar Oasis so as to seize their property and their women, and consummated his marriage to little Aisha (betrothed to him at the age of 6) when she was all of nine years old. And that is only part of what the exemplary Muhammad left as his legacy.

When the Ahmadi apologist Ahmab implies that it is a “misconception” that ISIS is “targeting [only] Christians and Jews” because “extremists have also killed Muslims,” he is merely repeating standard Muslim apologetics: Muslims, too, have been killed in terrorist attacks, so the terrorist attacks, it is claimed, could not “represent Islam.” Muslims who worked in the Twin Towers died on September 11, 2001. But they were unavoidable, and incidental, not intended victims; there was no way for Al Qaeda to filter out the Muslims working at the World Trade Center in advance. The latest bombs in Brussels may have killed a Muslim or two, along with many non-Muslims, but this does not mean that Muslims, too, were targeted and therefore the bombs “did not represent Islam.” And when ISIS deliberately kills Muslims in Iraq and Syria, it is not “because they are Muslims,” but because ISIS, or Al-Qaeda, or other takfiris, have concluded that these were not real Muslims and could be dealt with – tortured, killed – as non-Muslims.
Luqman read part of a verse from the Quran that referenced “kill them wherever you meet them … drive them out where they have driven you out,” he read. Then he read the lines preceding and a line that followed, completing the verse.
“It actually means only commit violence as an act of defense,” Luqman said.
Qur’an 2:191-2:193 is about the offensive war to be made on the Meccans. At the time Muhammad was securely in control of Medina; no one was about to attack him there. Verse 190 refers to those who, in Mecca, continued to resist Muslim rule. It is the Muslims who are on the offensive, preparing to drive the Meccans out of their city unless they accept the rule of Allah. From the website The Religion of Peace:

Quran (2:191-193) – “And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah [disbelief or unrest] is worse than killing…but if they desist, then lo! Allah is forgiving and merciful. And fight them until there is no more Fitnah [disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah] and worship is for Allah alone. But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zalimun(the polytheists, and wrong-doers, etc.)” (Translation is from the Noble Quran) The verse prior to this (190) refers to “fighting for the cause of Allah those who fight you” leading some to believe that the entire passage refers to a defensive war in which Muslims are defending their homes and families. The historical context of this passage is not defensive warfare, however, since Muhammad and his Muslims had just relocated to Medina and were not under attack by their Meccan adversaries. In fact, the verses urge offensive warfare, in that Muslims are to drive Meccans out of their own city (which they later did). Verse 190 thus means to fight those who offer resistance to Allah’s rule (ie. Muslim conquest). The use of the word “persecution” by some Muslim translators is disingenuous (the actual Arabic words for persecution – “idtihad” – and oppression – a variation of “z-l-m” – do not appear in the verse). The word used instead, “fitna”, can mean disbelief, or the disorder that results from unbelief or temptation. This is certainly what is meant in this context since the violence is explicitly commissioned “until religion is for Allah” – ie., until unbelievers desist in their unbelief.
The Imam said Muslim means peacemaker and Islam means peace. Luqman said the people committing the violent acts of ISIS and other extremists groups should not be calling themselves Muslims.
This is a standard and deliberate mistranslation by Muslim apologists. “Islam” does not mean “peace.” It means “submission,” and the Muslim is the one who submits to the dictates of Allah. No matter how often the correction is made, the deliberately soothing mistranslation continues to be offered by apologists, and to be accepted by too many of their incurious Infidel auditors who don’t bother to consult — it’s a click away — an online dictionary. (Hint: try asking all-knowing Google “what does Islam mean?”)
“It’s important for us to show to people, especially those who are unfamiliar with the Quran, what is happening in the Middle East and other places with these horrendous acts, and violence and bloodshed.”
The Imam wants to show those – “especially those who are unfamiliar with the Quran,” who thus will find history is silly putty in his hands – that all these ISIS atrocities, these “horrendous acts and violence and bloodshed” have nothing to do with Islam.
Fareeha Rehman of West Lafayette traveled to Indianapolis for the event. She brought her three daughters and their friend.
Rehman said her family, like other American families, fear extremist groups like ISIS. She and her husband own a grocery store in West Lafayette and two of their four children attend Purdue University.
Rehman said she brought her daughters to the event to encourage them to spread the message of peace in Islam. However, Rehman said she also wants her children to be able to stand up for each other when their peers express fear.
“People in the United States think we are different, but we are the same as you,” Rehman said. “We are American citizens, we love America because we live here and this is our home. We don’t want this, we discourage this.”
Does someone’s merely living within a given geographic area, and attaining the citizenship associated with that geographic area – living in the United States, say, and acquiring American citizenship through naturalization or birth– mean that that someone is “the same as you”? What does it mean to “be an American”? Would it not mean, in the most important and irreducible sense, that you subscribe to the Constitution, that document at the heart of our civil religion, which means to subscribe to a shared set of beliefs? And these beliefs would include the individual’s right to the freedom of speech and to the freedom of religion, and a belief that the legitimacy of any government depends on its reflecting, however imperfectly through elections, the will expressed by the people. Islam, on the other hand, insists on limiting the freedom of speech (if, for example, such speech is held to blaspheme Muhammad or otherwise call aspects of Islam into question) and the freedom of religion (punishing apostates even with death), and ascribing legitimacy to a government or ruler insofar as that government or ruler reflects the will expressed by Allah in the Qur’an, rather than—as in the American system — the will expressed by the people through elections.
Laurel Toney, an Indianapolis resident, said she attended the event to learn more about Islam. The 71-year-old said she learned of the “horrible positions” Muslims and American soldiers have been put in when faced with child soldiers due to the ISIS regime. She also said she learned about the difference between the religion and the extremists.
“The biggest takeaway is that we really need to pray for our fellow Muslim Americans and Muslims throughout the world,” Toney said.
“Hopefully they’ll be praying for us, because we need to build relationships with each other. That’s the best way to defeat the extremists.”
Laurel Toney innocently chose one of the least trustworthy venues to “learn about Islam” – an evening of sly taqiyya, by the most presentable and persuasive of Muslims, the Ahmadis. Though they are persecuted by other Muslims in Pakistan (where, for example, Ahmadis are not allowed to list “Islam” as their religion on official documents, are subject to the same mistreatment as Christians and other full-fledged Infidels), and are persecuted and have even been killed for their beliefs in more than a dozen other Muslim countries, in this country Ahmadis have taken it upon themselves to become the stoutest defenders of, and apologists for, Islam. These are the unorthodox Muslims to whom Laurel Toney came to “learn more about Islam” that night. She was told things she lacked the background or desire to question: she “learned about the difference between the religion and the extremists” (that was easy, that was quick), and that “we really need to pray for our fellow Muslim Americans and Muslims throughout the world,” and that if we “build relationships with each other,” that’s the “best way to defeat the extremists.” If only Homeland Security had thought of that.

In other words, like all the other well-meaning Infidels who showed up that night, Laurel Toney was subjected to interfaith-healing racketeers well-versed in cozening the gullible, and left full of the feelgood notion that we should all, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, be praying for one another. If the Muslims were to pray for non-Muslims, the only prayer they might conceivably offer would be that the non-Muslims see the error of their ways, and “revert” to Islam.

The question arises: did other Muslims, the real Muslims, refuse to come to this evening because they did not want to show up with Ahmadis and seem to be endorsing the Ahmadi claim to be real Muslims? Or could it be that the Ahmadis who organized the meeting didn’t want to appear side-by-side with the real Muslims who, they knew, might express doubts as to the Islam-ness of the Ahmadis, or even treat them publicly with contempt? It would be wonderful if non-Muslims who have educated themselves about Islam were to attend these gatherings, and insistently question the Ahmadis about what Ahmadis believe, why Ahmadiyya Islam is regarded by other Muslims as something other than the real thing, and how, as a consequence, Ahmadis are mistreated all over the Muslim world. Now that would have provided what the organizers of this evening claim to have wanted all along — that is, an “education in Islam.” And that’s something devoutly to be wished.

Hugh Fitzgerald


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

Into the Fray: Bombs in Brussels (or 'It’s Islam Stupid' revisited) - Martin Sherman

by Martin Sherman

Hat tip: Dr. Carolyn Tal

Islam is to terror as rainfall is to flooding.

One out of six people all over the world is a Muslim... [T]rying to say anything in general about this huge community – 1.5 billion people – will be wrong... The vast majority of these populations are not involved... with violence and terror all over the world.... I don’t think there is anything essential that connects between this huge and historically important religion and all the terrorism that’s going on Sami Abu Shehadeh, secretary- general of Arab faction Balad, Tel Aviv-Jaffa, in a debate with me on “The rise of anti-Muslim sentiment in the West,” i24 News, December 16, 2014.

This week’s column, including the introductory quotation, is largely similar to the one I wrote in January 2015 (“It’s Islam, stupid!”), two days after the carnage in the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo, perpetrated in the name of Islam – and a day before the Islam-inspired slaughter among the shelves of kosher supermarket Hyper Cacher in the French capital.

For this I make no apology. Indeed, after the downing of the Russian airliner over Sinai, the bombing of a peace rally in Ankara, the mass shooting in San Bernadino, last week’s lethal blast in Istanbul, and this week’s attacks in Brussels (to name but a few of the better-known instances of the reportedly over 3,000 Muslim-related terrorist attacks in over 50 countries – and the resultant 30,000 plus fatalities – perpetrated since then), what I wrote over a year ago is just as relevant today as it was then.

Islam is to terrorism as rain is to flooding

Of course, there is much truth in Abu Shehadeh’s claim that most Muslims are not actively involved in terrorism.

However, while this claim is factually correct, substantively, it is meaningless.

Indeed, for anyone, with a reasonably informed grasp of world affairs and an iota of intellectual integrity, the answer to whether Islam and violence/terrorism are causally connected should be unequivocally clear. To ask whether Islam is associated with terrorism is a little like asking if rainfall is associated with flooding.

Of course it is – as can be irrefutably deduced from Abu Shehadeh’s very attempt to exonerate it.

After all, if one in six people in the world is Muslim, then five out of six are not – right? Accordingly, if there were no inordinate Islamic affinity for violence/terrorism, the number of Muslim acts of terrorism should be one-fifth that of non-Muslim terrorism – i.e. if Islam had no greater propensity for terrorism, one should expect non-Muslim acts of terrorism to be five times (!) those perpetrated by Muslims.

This is not the case. Terrorist attacks committed by adherents of Islam far outstrip those carried out by non-Muslims.

Eerie sense of inevitability

It would therefore seem that – in stark contradiction to the dubious precepts of political correctness – there is little choice but to accept the commonsense conclusion that there is a wildly disproportionate causal connection between Islam on the one hand, and acts of ideo-politically motivated violence against civilian populations, i.e. terrorism, on the other.

Try as one may, there is no way that, in the modern world, any other faith/creed can be associated with such violence/ terrorism – in scope, size, frequency or ubiquity of occurrence.

Without wishing to appear smugly insensitive, the carnage at Charlie Hebdo, the butchery at Bataclan, and the bloodbath in Brussels could hardly be deemed unexpected.

Quite the contrary, for decades the ominous writing has been on the wall. Tragically it has been studiously ignored, sacrificing lives on the altar of the false deity of political correctness.

This week’s bloodshed in Belgium was the latest link in a gory chain of violence, committed by the followers of the prophet, in his name, across the continent and beyond.

This, coupled with the burgeoning Muslim urban enclaves, ungoverned and increasingly ungovernable, in the heart of European capitals, the unchecked extremist indoctrination, and the return of battle hardened jihadists from the killing fields of Iraq and Syria, imbued with ISIS-compliant ideology, imparted an eerie sense of inevitability to Tuesday’s blasts.

Horrors of intra-Muslim strife

But as appalling as Muslim violence against non-Muslims might be, it pales into insignificance when compared to violence between Muslims.

It would be impossible to give a comprehensive survey of the intra-Muslim carnage that has raged – and still rages – across vast swaths of the globe, from the shores of the Atlantic Ocean to the islands of Asia-Pacific. A brutally condensed synopsis will have to suffice.

Even before the unspeakable barbarism of al-Nusra and ISIS began to sweep across much of the Levant, and the ghastly savagery of Boko Haram and al-Shabaab ravaged huge stretches of Africa, merciless massacres of Muslims at the hands of Muslims abounded.

For example, in the almost 10-year Algerian civil war, internecine frictions between rival Islamist factions resulted in massive fratricide – with a death toll reaching, by some estimates, 150,000. Acts of unimaginable brutality were perpetrated, with entire villages wiped out and victims’ bodies mutilated.

Likewise, regular bombings of markets and mosques across countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan have produced massive loss of Muslim life at the hands of belligerent brethren, yet hardly generate a footnote in the mainstream media. The intra-Muslim conflict seems so intense and complicated that even a reasonably informed layman would find it almost impossible to figure out who is killing whom, and why...

As a gauge of the scope of the slaughter, the Pakistani site Dawn (Jun 17, 2013) reported in a post titled “Islam at war – with itself” that al-Qaida affiliates and other extreme Islamist groups “have perpetrated indiscriminate violence against civilians... resulting in over 48,000 deaths...”

The majority of Muslims...

The pervasive violence in the Muslim world inevitably raises the question of the general character of Islam, and the kind of behavioral patterns it seems to generate.

It also raises the thorny question of minority actions vs majority inaction.

Thus, while Abu Shehadeh is probably right when he claims that only a minority of Muslims are engaged in abhorrent acts of terrorism, it is highly unlikely they would be able to sustain this activity without the support – or, at least, the tacit approval – of much larger segments of the population.

Even if the majority does not actively endorse the conduct of a delinquent minority, there is little evidence of effective disapproval, let alone active opposition to it. So, although, as Abu Shehadeh contends, it is difficult to formulate accurate generalizations for 1.5 billion people, several edifying measures are available that paint a daunting picture of the views held by much of the Muslim world.

The Pew Research Center has conducted numerous in-depth surveys across much of the Muslim world. Its findings show solid – at times, overwhelming – majorities in many countries (and significant minorities in others) in favor of harsh corporal punishments (whipping/amputation) for theft/robbery; death by stoning for adultery; and death for apostasy.

With such a propensity for violence as a widely accepted cultural norm, it is not implausible to assume that wide sections of the Muslim population would not find the use of violence and terrorism overly incompatible with their core beliefs.

Attempts at apologetics: The ‘colonialism’ canard

Numerous attempts have been made to explain away much of the prevalence of violence in the Muslim world and its conflict with the West.

Arguably the most prominent among such apologists was none other than President Barack Obama. In his 2009 “Outreach address” in Cairo, he offered the following explanation for the sad state of affairs between the West and Islam which, he alleged, followed “centuries of coexistence and cooperation.”

(Yeah, right!). Obama suggested that “more recently, tension has been fed by colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims.”

This of course holds no water.

For while it is true that much of the Middle East was under imperial rule for centuries, this was mostly Muslim imperialism – i.e. the Ottoman Empire.

After all, with perhaps the exception of North Africa, Western colonialism was imposed for a relatively short period after World War I, and ended soon after World War II. This hardly seems sufficient to engender the obdurate Islamic enmity we see today.

So if complaints are to be lodged regarding colonialist deprivation of Muslim rights and opportunities, shouldn’t they be directed at the Muslim imperialists? Curiously, the crucibles of today’s most extreme anti-Western Islam were barely touched by colonialism – the Arabian Peninsula and Iran.

Although neither has endured any imperial – including Western – rule of any consequence, the former birthed the Sunni-derivative version of Islamic radicalism and the latter the Shia-derivative.

Clearly, this fact sits uneasily with the diagnosis ascribing ongoing tensions between Muslims and the West to colonial injustices.

No cries of ‘Kill for Krishna’?

Moreover, one might well ask why the iniquities of colonialism have not afflicted, say, the Hindu majority in India, certainly “denied rights and opportunities” under the same yoke of British imperialism, no less than the Muslims in adjacent Pakistan.

Yet, in stark contradiction to the bloodcurdling yells of Allah-hu-Akbar (Allah is great) so frequently heard as a precursor to some act of Muslim-related atrocity, we somehow hear no cries of “Kill for Krishna” or “Ganesh is Great” from embittered Hindu terrorists, blowing themselves up in crowded buses, markets, cafes and mosques.

Nor do we see aggrieved devotees of Shiva embarking on a global holy war, dedicated to the subjugation of all to the Hindu creed.

So why has India, to a large extent, been able to put its colonial past behind it, and become a vibrant economic juggernaut? Why has it not allowed itself to remain tethered to its past and mired in fratricidal frustration that has so beset its Muslim neighbor, Pakistan? After all, since by far most victims of Muslim violence are other Muslims, rights and opportunities allegedly denied by foreign occupiers seven decades ago seem an unpersuasive explanation for Islam’s current conduct.

Modernity as culprit?

Some have tried to contend that the onset of modernity and globalization has created a sense of threat to Islamic values, which has precipitated tensions with the West.

Thus, in Cairo, Obama suggested that “the sweeping change brought by modernity and globalization led many Muslims to view the West as hostile to Islamic traditions.”

This, too, is difficult to accept.

After all, Islam is the youngest of all major religions, founded centuries – even in some cases, millennia – after Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism and Christianity. Why would the newest religion find that the developments of modernity threaten its traditions in a manner that, apparently, does not threaten the traditions of faiths far more ancient? Why do they not generate the same tensions with the West that we find in the case of the Muslim faith? Could it perhaps be that Islam is fundamentally incompatible not only with modernity, not only with anything that is not Islam, but even with variations of Islam within itself?

Indeed, as the previously cited analysis in Dawn lamented: “From Aleppo in Syria to Quetta in Balochistan, Muslims are engaged in the slaughter of other Muslims. The numbers are enormous.... Millions have perished in similar intra-Muslim conflicts in the past four decades. Many wonder if the belief in Islam was sufficient to bind Muslims in peace with each other.”

Grim, gory future?

I concluded my January 2015 column with the following caveat: “Europe in general and France in particular are on the cusp of a grim, probably gruesome, future.”

Today this is even more pertinent for Belgium.

In it I cautioned that European leaders should heed the clarion call from someone who has intimate first-hand knowledge of Islam – the Somalian-born former Dutch MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali, forced to flee to the US because of threats from Muslims who objected to her caustic criticism of Islam: “Islam is not a religion of peace. It’s a political theory of conquest that seeks domination by any means it can. Every accommodation of Muslim demands leads to a sense of euphoria and a conviction that Allah is on their side. They see every act of appeasement as an invitation to make fresh demands.” (March 21, 2009) Europe will ignore her dire diagnosis at its peril. Unless it faces up to the bleak realities confronting it and tailors its policies accordingly, the consequences will be, indeed, grim... and gory.

Martin Sherman ( is the founder and executive director of the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies (


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

Nasrallah's "Speech of the Year" - Mordechai Kedar

by Mordechai Kedar

Read it carefully. He represents the threatening regional power – Iran -- and is the geographically closest significant threat to Israel, with operative cells all over the world capable of terror attacks against a long list of possible targets.

For two whole days, on Sunday and Monday, March 20-21, the Lebanon-based Al-Midian news channel associated with Hezbollah, broadcast a promo of the "Speech of the Year," soon to be delivered by Hassan Nasrallah.

As the time for the speech on Monday night approached, the anchorman declared with undisguised emotion (parentheses added by the author, M.K.): "The CEO of Hezbollah, Mr. Hassan Nasrallah, in a wide-ranging political, security-oriented and strategic talk, [including] a clear message to Israel and its leadership, our plans for facing any threat or attack, straight talk on Syria and President Assad, (telling us}) this is the situation and this is the reality, this is what the entire (Iranian) axis thinks, this is the truth about Iran and Russia's tactical and strategic role; clear and true words about the decisions of the Cooperative Action Council of Saudi Arabia and the Emirates in the Gulf, the Arab League and what will occur in their wake, these are the reasons that we have been called a terror organization and this is our message to the nation (world); deep thoughts on Arabism, on Al Azar (the highest Sunni institution in Egypt), on Sunnis and Shiites – Hassan Nasrallah in the 'Speech of the Year.'"

After this kind of promo, it is no surprise that there were masses of people listening carefully to that speech, because Hezbollah has, in the past few years, gone from being a Lebanese terror organization to becoming a fighting army on a pan Arab level, involved up to its neck in the wars being waged in Syria and Yemen. It is the representative of the threatening regional power – Iran -- and it is the geographically closest significant threat to Israel, with operative cells all over the world capable of terror attacks on different levels against a long list of possible targets.

Al-Midian's website article summarizing the speech was headlined: "Nasrallah: 'As for the war over Lebanon, we will go in there without a roof (the skies the limit for our actions), without borders (we will attack everywhere) and without red lines (we will use all kinds of weapons at our disposal, first against Israel, but there is also a Saudi address).'"

In the speech itself, Nasrallah said: "…past experience has taught us that the July 2006 war was waged at the demand of former US president George Bush in an attempt to change the Middle East (conspiracy theory at its best)…Israel does not start wars unless the US permits it to do so. It is almost certain that the Obama government will not allow Israel (to go to war) because it is coming to the end of its term and any Israeli attack on Lebanon is a gamble whose final outcomes are unpredictable. "

"Many Arabs are in the employ of Israel, some of them are regimes [sic] and some are spies. The regimes [sic] are known and familiar, and the Israeli spies work for themselves. For this reason, the war must have goals and lead to results. For Israel, the price paid is crucial, in people, morale and economics…Hezbollah, by means of its preparedness, wisdom, location and statements, has made Israel understand that any war on Lebanon will exact an enormous price, and that the end result would have to justify that price. Israel is afraid for the lives of its settlers (in his view, all of Israel is a settlement) and this is the pressure point we can use. Israelis know that Hezbollah has accurate missiles capable of reaching every spot in occupied Palestine (occupied since 1948, that is), and we are talking about a war in which we will defend our land, nation and family, that is, in which we are attacked. Therefore, when faced with that situation, we intend to defend our land, when the Israeli says that he wants to hit Lebanon's infrastructure and set Lebanon back 300 years, we must stress that we are not weak.

"The problem is not only the ammonia containers in Haifa, because (in Israel) there are factories. It seems as though the Israelis have international and Arab security guarantees, or a positive view of Arab regimes (such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt who will come to its aid in time of war), and (Israel thinks) that it won't be attacked by real missiles, which is why it built petrochemical and biological factories, atomic reactors, storage facilities for radioactive substances, nuclear warheads, with these factories and reactors located within cities or in proximity to them, some right next to cities - and if Israel decides to destroy our infrastructure we are justified in attacking any of those targets in order to deter the enemy.

"If we assume that we will attack those targets, what will the Zionist entity have to return to? After all, if these targets are located within urban areas, we have the right to bomb those areas. Israel is making plans and we have a list of factories, storehouses, and centers, their exact location, and Hezbollah has every possibility (of attacking them). Nothing will help the Israelis in that case, and they know that the price will be massive…there are biological institutes that manufacture everything Israel needs or exports. And when I observe the (Zionist) entity, I say: 'They know the Arab regimes have accurate missiles, so how could they build their reactors and industries inside cities?' I have no explanation for that except for the guarantees given them by certain Arab regimes.

"In the July (2006) and Gaza (2008-9, 2012,2014) wars, the Israelis claimed that several statesmen in Arab regimes demanded they not stop the fighting, and that Israel is familiar with the desires of several Arab regimes (the Saudis who would like nothing more than to destroy Hamas and Hezbollah), therefore Hezbollah has the right to have weapons in order to withstand Israeli violations. Israel sees itself as free to invade Lebanon's skies whenever it wants to, as well as breaking into Lebanese websites. Lebanon is actually under constant Israeli attack.

"Some think we are busy with Syria (and therefore cannot enter a war with Israel) but we have a group (a missile unit) that concentrates solely on Israel…there is no reason we should reveal (the information on the types of) weapons in our possession, but we have the right to have any weapons that will allow us to protect the Lebanese Army, the Lebanese people and the armies in the region (Syrian and Iranian) in order to protect their lives and sovereignty ... any attack on Lebanon will result in a suitable response … no one gives guarantees and we are not in a position to exchange messages with the Israeli enemy, we are not interested in communicating with them in any way. We will not offer security guarantees to our enemy, we will simply tell him: Don’t' attack."

Nasrallah expended considerable time on Saudi Arabia in his speech, its war against Iran, its attempts to prevent the nuclear agreement with Iran, and on claims that the Saudis are behind the hereticizing organizations (those who call those who are against them infidels, headed by the Shiites), and that this is why Saudis "have placed us on the list of terrorist organizations."

He went on to assert that the Arab League's decision to call Hezbollah a terrorist organization is mistaken and baseless. Hezbollah, in Nasrallah's narrative, was busy fighting Israel when "those who do not like us (the Saudis) came and forced us to go and fight in Syria" (read: the Saudis serve Israeli interests…).

According to him, the Saudis do not want to talk to Iran, Syria (Assad) or Hezbollah, but aside from that, Hezbollah has good relations with all the Palestinian Arab groups. If Syria falls to ISIS or Jebhat al Nusrah, Lebanon will fall as well, which makes it crucial that Hezbollah fight in Syria despite heavy losses in dead and wounded.

In sum, it is possible to say that Nasrallah harbors a feeling of responsibility for the security of the Middle East and that he could shake up the entire region if he wished to do so. With the Iranians – and their newly acquired billions of dollars – behind him, he feels powerful and secure enough to threaten Israel and Saudi Arabia, to tell the whole world what to do, to talk about Lebanon as if it belongs to him. The truth is that from every practical point of view he is in control of just about whatever and whoever makes a move in Lebanon, so we must take into account that one of these days, and fairly soon, Lebanon will become an official Hezbollah state.

Happy Purim to all the House of Israel, and may we be saved speedily from the descendants of the wicked Haman, "who rise up in each generation to destroy us, but the Holy One, Blessed be He, rescues us from their hands…"

Written for Arutz Sheva, translated from the Hebrew by Rochel Sylvetsky, Op-ed and Judaism Editor.

Mordechai Kedar


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

Palestinian Campuses "More Hamas than Hamas" - Khaled Abu Toameh

by Khaled Abu Toameh

PA security forces systematically target students and academics under various pretexts. Hundreds of students have been rounded up. Many remain in detention without the possibility of seeing a lawyer or a family member.

  • While the anti-Israel activists are busy protesting against Israel on Western campuses, Palestinian students and professors are persecuted by their own Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas governments.
  • Let us redefine "pro-Palestinian." Instead of bashing Israel, real pro-Palestinians will demand democracy for those they champion, and scream for public freedoms for Palestinians under the PA and Hamas regimes, which have always smashed dissent with an iron fist.
  • Palestinians on campuses in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip have once again been reminded that they remain as far as ever from achieving a state that would look any different from the other Arab dictatorships in the region. The campus incidents, which have hardly caught the attention of the international media and anti-Israel activists in the West, also expose the media double standard about human rights violations.
  • In the first case of its kind under the PA, Kadoori University in Tulkarem suspended a student who hugged his fiancée in public.

These are the days when everything is backwards. The "pro-Palestinian" activists on university campuses throughout the Western world have gotten into the spirit: Palestinian students and academics in the West Bank and Gaza Strip endure daily harassment by the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas, because all that gets the activists going are "Israeli abuses."

Apparently, today, to be "pro-Palestinian" one has to be "anti-Israel."

For the self-appointed advocates of the Palestinians at Western university campuses, the Palestinian issue is nothing but a vehicle for spewing hatred toward Israel. In good, backwards form, Israel is castigated, and the PA and Hamas are free to abuse their own people.

It seems that in the view of the anti-Israel folks, the Palestinians should not even hope for human rights under the Palestinian regimes.

So while the anti-Israel activists are busy protesting against Israel on Western campuses, Palestinian students and professors are left to be persecuted by their own governments.

Instead of campaigning for reform and democracy in the West Bank and Gaza, these activists spend precious energy trying to take down Israel. The Palestinian students and academics are left to their own devices.

Palestinians living under the Palestinian Authority and Hamas suffer an abysmal level of freedom of expression -- and always have. This is the grim reality that the international community and protesting students prefer to ignore. For them, human rights violations must have a "made in Israel" sticker on them.

Here is a suggestion: Let us redefine "pro-Palestinian." Instead of bashing Israel, the real pro-Palestinians will reveal themselves by demanding democracy for those they champion. True pro-Palestinian activists will scream for public freedoms for the Palestinians under the PA and Hamas regimes, which have always smashed dissent with an iron fist.

In the past few days, Palestinians on campuses in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip have once again been reminded that they remain as far as ever from achieving a state that would look any different from the other Arab dictatorships in the region. The campus incidents, which have hardly caught the attention of the international media and anti-Israel activists in the West, also expose the media double standard about human rights violations in the territories.

In the most recent case, Hamas security guards detained a number of students at Palestine University in the Gaza Strip who protested against the administration's refusal to allow them to sit for examinations because they had not paid tuition in full.

The students complained that the guards conducted "humiliating" body searches and confiscated their mobile phones. Some said they were physically assaulted.

In another high-profile incident in the Gaza Strip last week, The Islamic University suspended UK-educated Professor Salah Jadallah for criticizing Hamas and the university administration on Facebook. The move drew sharp condemnation from many Palestinian students and academics, who took to social media to voice their fury over the suspension.

Professor Jadallah's suspension is far from unusual in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, where students, journalists and social media activists have repeatedly fallen victim to the Islamist movement's harsh clampdowns.

A founder of Hamas in northern Gaza, Professor Jadallah was until recently considered within Hamas's inner circle. His scathing remarks on Hamas, which he posted on his Facebook page, have turned him into a persona non grata on campus and he is being treated as a "fifth column" by his erstwhile Hamas colleagues. Professor Jadallah is being targeted: what, one might ask, is happening to ordinary Palestinians?

Campuses in the West Bank are faring no better. The Palestinian Authority's security forces systematically target students and academics under various pretexts. Hundreds of students have been rounded up by these security forces in recent years as part of a crackdown on critics and Hamas "supporters." Many of the students remain in detention without the possibility of seeing a lawyer or a family member.

Just this week, Palestinian security forces arrested four more university students and teachers: Izaddin Zaitwai, Ehab Ashour, Zuhdi Kawarik and Awni Fares.

It is not only political critics of the PA and Hamas, however, who are of interest to the security forces in Palestinian regimes.

In the first case of its kind under the Palestinian Authority, the Kadoori University in Tulkarem suspended a student who hugged his fiancée in public after offering her a wedding ring. The student, whose identity was not revealed, was accused of "immodest conduct" and is facing a disciplinary hearing. A university spokesman accused the "hugging" student of "slandering" the university's reputation and defended the punishment.

Left: Hamas supporters are shown in a video screenshot marching during a student council election rally at Bir Zeit University, near Ramallah, on April 20, 2015. Right: Kadoori University in Tulkarem this month suspended a student who hugged his fiancé in public. The student was accused of "immodest conduct" and is facing a disciplinary hearing.

The decision to suspend the student sparked a social media storm, with many Palestinians accusing the Palestinian Authority and Kadoori University of seeking to be "more Hamas than Hamas."

If the putative champions of the Palestinians in the West continue to disregard the trampling of Palestinian human rights by the PA and Hamas, there may not be any Palestinians left to champion.

  • Follow Khaled Abu Toameh on Twitter

Khaled Abu Toameh, an award-winning journalist, is based in Jerusalem.


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

The Consequences of Anti-Zionism - Caroline Glick

by Caroline Glick

Why continuing with its anti-Israel agenda won't save Europe from jihadist slaughter.

Originally published by the Jerusalem Post
What do radical Israeli groups have in common with their European funders? Last Thursday, Channel 2 broadcast candid camera footage of Breaking the Silence members gathering classified information on IDF operations. The footage was taken by Ad Kan activists.

Breaking the Silence claims to be an organization dedicated to collecting testimonies from IDF soldiers documenting ill-treatment of Palestinians. Posing as soldiers with information to share, Ad Kan activists were interrogated by Breaking the Silence investigators.

Yet rather than question them about how their units treated Palestinians, Breaking the Silence members asked them about troop movements, weapons platforms, IDF cooperation with foreign militaries. The investigators asked what sort of guns an unmanned combat vehicle carried, who controlled the vehicle and whether it was in operational use.

They wanted to know how the IDF discovers Hamas tunnels. They wanted to know when tanks were used in battles and how.

Breaking the Silence’s intelligence operations didn’t stop with post-operational debriefs.

A Breaking the Silence employee named Frima Bobis is filmed telling Ad Kan activists how when she was still in high school, a Breaking the Silence worker advised her where to serve during her military service.

She followed his advice, served in the civil administration’s office in Nablus, and upon her discharge, was able to give Breaking the Silence useful information.

Breaking the Silence hired her shortly after her return to civilian life.

Julia Novak, Breaking the Silence’s executive director, did not dispute Ad Kan’s findings. In her response to the broadcast she gave three defenses for her group’s activities.

First, she said, Ad Kan’s findings are unworthy of attention because it is a “settler” organization.

Second, she said that her group’s noble goal of “ending the occupation” gives it the right to collect and hold classified information. In other words, just as Ad Kan’s support for Israeli control over Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem makes it illegitimate, so Breaking the Silence’s support for ending “the occupation” renders it immune from criticism.

These claims ring familiar. Similar claims were made in January by her comrades after Channel 2’s investigative magazine Uvda broadcast another Ad Kan, report. That report showed members of Breaking the Silence engaging in what appeared to be various forms of criminal activities with members of Ta’ayush. Those activities included tax evasion and unlawfully interfering with military operations as well as assaulting soldiers.

The January report also showed senior Ta’ayush and B’Tselem operatives Ezra Nawi and Nasser Nawaja apparently plotting to turn a Palestinian interested in selling his land to Jews over to Palestinian security services with the full knowledge that they would torture and murder him.

B’Tselem’s response to the January report was first to dismiss its legitimacy. Uvda, the group insisted, was wrong to broadcast the report because it was filmed by Ad Kan investigators rather than Uvda reporters.

B’Tselem’s claim was particularly rich given that Channel 2 makes liberal use of footage B’Tselem provides its reporters.

Just as Novak doubled down on Breaking the Silence’s spying operations, insisting they were legitimate without explaining why, so B’Tselem justified Nawaja’s actions insisting that handing Palestinian land sellers over to the PA is “the only legitimate path available to Palestinians.”

B’Tselem didn’t explain why Nawaja didn’t just get his donor friends to buy the land. The self-proclaimed human rights group didn’t explain why its senior employee couldn’t accept the human right of Palestinians to sell their land to Jews or the human right of Jews to buy land from a willing Palestinian seller.

B’Tselem didn’t explain why it legitimate to turn over innocents to PA henchmen with the full knowledge that doing so will lead to their torture and murder.

It isn’t that the radical Left’s goal of expelling all Jews and IDF units from Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem is inherently illegitimate. It is arguably just as legitimate as the late Meir Kahane’s goal of expelling all Arabs from Judea and Samaria.

But the fact that your goal is legitimate doesn’t give you the right to break the law. In other words, Breaking the Silence is legitimate. Breaking the law is not.

Ad Kan’s revelations are startling not because they call into question the legitimacy of the radical Left’s goal. They are startling because they show that in advancing that goal, radical leftist groups have a distressing comfort level with criminal activities.

And this brings us to Novak’s third justification for her group’s intelligence operations.

Novak said that Breaking the Silence’s activities are permissible because it always gets the Military Censor’s permission before it publishes its reports. But that merely exacerbates suspicions.

If it isn’t publishing the classified information it gathers, why is it gathering it? Whom is it gathering it for? Which brings us to Europe.

According to NGO Monitor, in 2014, 61 percent of Breaking the Silence’s budget came from European governments.

After Uvda broadcast Ad Kan’s footage of Nawi and Nawaja apparently plotting the murder of an innocent Palestinian in January, British legislators demanded that the Foreign Office justify government funding of B’Tselem.

The same parliamentarians could just as easily have asked why their government funds the Palestinian Authority, which murders innocent Palestinians.

In the event, once the media storm passed, things went back to normal for the British and their radical leftist agents.

Will the same pattern follow today? In the aftermath of the ISIS attacks in Brussels, will Europeans demand to know why European resources are being used to fund espionage against the IDF on the one hand, and Palestinian security services that commit murder and support jihad on the other? The upshot of Ad Kan’s revelations, which indicate widespread criminal activity by EU-funded radical groups, is not that these groups are inherently criminal.

But they do indicate that members of these groups have a cavalier attitude – at best – about respecting the law.

In a similar fashion, Europe’s funding of anti-Israel campaigns like its bankrolling of the PA does not make the EU incompetent to deal with the jihadist forces that are presently assaulting its member nations and citizens. But it is true that there seems to be a direct correlation between hostility to Israel and inability to competently fight jihadists. And this makes sense. If you believe that Israel is the cause of the pathologies of the Islamic world, then you will likely be blind to the nature of the jihadist threat and the danger it poses to your nation.

Following the ISIS strikes in Brussels, both Israeli and American security experts spoke bitterly of the ineptitude of Belgian security services. It is not that the forces themselves are incompetent. Rather, the experts said, their political leadership refuses to allow them to take the actions necessary to protect their country.

The Belgians, like their European brethren generally, refuse to deal with jihad. Rather than acknowledge and deal forthrightly with the phenomenon, they seek every possible excuse to ignore it.

According to senior government officials, the Belgians are among the most vociferous foes of Israel in the EU. Europe’s obsessive castigation of Israel is a central aspect of their jihad avoidance strategy. If Israel is to blame for everything, then they can save themselves by pouring billions of euros on the PA and by funding Israeli anti-Zionist subversives.

This position is of course irrational. In clinging to it, the Europeans have enabled the jihadist forces arrayed against them to gather and grow.

Consider the July 7, 2005, attacks in London. Shortly after they occurred, British investigators discovered that Muhammad Sidique Khan, who led the British al-Qaida cell that carried out the attacks, was connected to the British jihadists who carried out the 2003 suicide bombing at Mike’s Place pub in Tel Aviv, adjacent to the US Embassy.

The Mike’s Place bombers were also connected with the radical Left, having toured Israel and Gaza with an International Solidarity Movement group before carrying out their attack.

Yet, just as British authorities ignored the significance of the participation of British jihadists in the jihad against Israel 13 years ago, and disregarded the significance of the post-7/7 revelations 11 years ago, so in the intervening years, as jihadist forces grew and spread throughout the continent, rather than shed their hostility toward Israel and stop blaming it for the jihadist Islam, the Europeans expanded their onslaught against the Jewish state.

The EU’s subversive activities on the ground massively expanded as did its political and economic war against Israel internationally. The EU’s decision to promote economic boycotts of Israel by labeling Israeli products is just the latest indication that as the threat of jihad grows, the Europeans have doubled down on their campaigns to harm Israel.

Is it possible for them to change course? Last week Foreign Ministry director-general Dore Gold visited South Africa. The anti-Israel boycott movement, like the pernicious campaign to libel the Jewish state “apartheid,” was born in South Africa 15 years ago. At the notorious Durban conference on the eve of the September 11, 2001, jihadist attacks, the international NGO movement voted to criminalize the Jewish state.

Since 1994, reports have surfaced of jihadist groups, including al-Qaida, Hamas and Hezbollah, operating training camps in South Africa. The order for jihadists to carry out the 2013 massacre at Nairobi’s Westgate Mall reportedly came from al-Qaida operatives in South Africa.

Last October, South African President Jacob Zuma hosted Hamas terrorism-master Khaled Mashaal for a four-day visit.

During his stay in South Africa, Gold gently tried to explain to his hosts that their support for jihadists and their hostility for Israel would not protect them from the ravages of jihad. But the danger is still too intangible for them. They couldn’t grasp what he was saying.

Now that Europe is paying the price for its refusal to contend with the threat of jihad, will its leaders wake up to reality?

With ISIS now capable of attacking at will in almost every city in Europe, will they realize that the time has come to stop funding Palestinian jihadists and Israeli subversives? Or is it too late for them to change course?

Will they cling to the bitter end to their anti-Semitic delusion that by feeding the Jewish state to the jihadist tiger, he will not come for them?

For Israel, the path is clear regardless of what Europe decides. Our law enforcement bodies need to investigate and prosecute left-wing criminals with the same seriousness they investigate and prosecute all other criminals, regardless of the support they receive from their European funders. And our government needs to pointedly and consistently explain to the leaders of Europe that their assault on Israel will not convince the jihadists to spare them. So far all the Europeans have for their efforts are massacred civilians and shattered defenses.

Caroline Glick


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