Saturday, May 5, 2018

The Gaza Border Fence Riots as an Operational Campaign - Maj. Gen. (res.) Gershon Hacohen

by Maj. Gen. (res.) Gershon Hacohen

Hamas is using these events as a springboard for a strategic achievement that could have major consequences.

BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 821, May 3, 2018

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: When it comes to defending the Gaza border against the physical threat, the responsibility of the Chief of Staff and the commander of Southern Command is clear-cut and well fulfilled. That, however, does not constitute a sufficient response to Hamas’s effort to turn the border fence events into a strategic achievement.

Jews have known existential anxiety for generations, and the potential for existential danger has become the main criterion by which Israeli leaders tend to assess threats – including the extent to which they are strategic. Based on this criterion, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin determined, with the support of security experts, that terrorism does not constitute an existential threat.

Indeed, when a ground offensive by regular armies forms the benchmark for an existential threat, the dangers posed by terrorism – let alone by the events currently occurring along the Gaza border – are not seen as existential. But Hamas is using these events as a springboard for a strategic achievement that could have major consequences.

A strategic threat requires a strategic response, one that entails preparations for a multidimensional campaign that is waged at the national level with the state of Israel’s full resources and capabilities. A strategic response of this kind must address four basic aspects of the situation:

  • Identifying the change in the reality and internalizing new trends. The events along the fence constitute a new operational campaign against Israel that Hamas is conducting directly and in a centralized manner. In the public sphere, the campaign, with its well-crafted stage set, is presented as an unarmed civil revolt. At the covert level, however, it is fully orchestrated by Hamas making sophisticated use of the tools of the new warfare with a view to influencing three arenas of psychological perception: the Palestinian, the Israeli, and the international.

With impressive professional skill and in coordination with global networks including BDS elements, a special effort is also being made to stream the events into the social networks. As a first stage of strategic assessment, the change must be identified as a new kind of campaign, most significantly its branding as the “March of Return.” For while Hamas has never accepted the two-state solution underpinning the Oslo process, the explicit branding of the campaign as an effort at destroying Israel – which is the real meaning of the “return” slogan in Palestinian and Arab discourse – without this evoking any international opposition requires the Israeli leadership to intensively discuss an effective counterstrategy.

  • Conceptualizing the new situation and crafting an overall, well-formed theoretical approach. In order to contend with criticisms of the IDF’s actions on the Israeli far left, and Western public opinion more generally, a theoretical foundation tailored to the challenges of the new war must be devised. Over the past decade, the use of civilians as an operational stratagem has assumed a major role in conflict zones. For instance, the Russian government is using local separatists from the civilian population to spearhead the warfare in the Ukrainian region of Donetsk. Similarly, Beijing is making use of thousands of civilian fishing boats in its efforts to extend its sovereignty over the South China Sea. The combined use of civilians at the overt level and of the military system at the covert level, in a supportive secondary effort, is what has given this phenomenon its elusive characteristics. In the West, this is described as “hybrid warfare.” Russian military thinking, which sees an inherent advantage in the ambiguity stemming from combining civilians and soldiers, refers to this phenomenon as the “warfare of the new generation.”

In unprecedented fashion, the Russian authorities gave public exposure to a lecture presented by Chief of Staff Valery Gerasimov at the Russian Academy of Military Sciences in January 2013. Now known in the military world as the “Gerasimov doctrine,” the lecture articulated a modus operandi that the Russians have employed for some time, as evident in the recent campaigns in Georgia (2008), Crimea, and Ukraine. Those campaigns made deliberate and effective use of the combination of military force and civilian activity. In the fighting in Georgia, for example, armored forces were able to enter the north of the country thanks to the efforts of Russian-oriented Georgian-Abkhaz civilians, who, in a preparatory move, seized the tunnels and bridges of the expressway that leads to the capital, Tbilisi.

Against this backdrop, the images arriving from the confrontation along the Gaza fence need not be interpreted as IDF units suppressing civilian protests but as IDF forces protecting the kindergartens and civilians of the Nahal Oz and Kerem Shalom kibbutzim, which are about 200 meters from the fence and under threat from a terror organization in civilian guise.

This revised theoretical foundation will help rebut, from a new perspective, the false accusations directed at IDF soldiers. It will explain, for example, the potential threat posed to Israeli civilians in border communities by seemingly unarmed violent protesters and how this threat justifies the rules of engagement. It will elucidate why there is no alternative to the use of sniper fire and why nonlethal weapons and standard means of dispersing civilian demonstrations are not applicable to the circumstances of this threat.

  • Adapting the organizational structure to change. A new challenge calls for reassessing the organizational structure’s compatibility with the changing reality. Israel made such a reassessment when preparing for the unilateral disengagement from Gaza in the summer of 2005. Along with organizing units and combined command systems for the IDF and the Israel Police, task-specific administrations were set up in government ministries to address the wide range of issues beyond the military effort. Likewise, the ongoing campaign along the Gaza fence mandates a special organizational response at the national level.

While the responsibility of the Chief of Staff and the commander of Southern Command is clear-cut and ably fulfilled, the organizational approach must be adapted to the demands of the psychological arena, with all its legal, diplomatic, and public-diplomacy aspects. The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit, the Foreign Ministry, and the public-diplomacy apparatus in the Prime Minister’s Office can, of course, retain responsibility for the domain of perception. Yet, as the challenge intensifies, a special new organization is required for mobilizing Israel’s full range of capabilities for an effort at the national level.

  • Planning and managing the endeavor in accordance with a strategic objective. An operation of such scope requires precise and deliberate attunement with the strategic purpose, the suitability of which must be constantly reassessed as the campaign develops. This will also necessitate a new plan to alleviate humanitarian distress in the Gaza Strip as well as a new political approach, one that views Gaza as a de facto state and strives, in keeping with Israeli interests, to bolster its status as an independent political entity that is separate from the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah.

To the best of my knowledge, preparations at the national level for the required strategic endeavor – in the above four areas – have yet to be conducted. In light of the new challenge posed by Hamas, which will likely escalate in the coming weeks, one cannot overstate the urgency of such preparations.

BESA Center Perspectives Papers are published through the generosity of the Greg Rosshandler Family

Maj. Gen. (res.) Gershon Hacohen is a senior research fellow at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies. He served in the IDF for forty-two years. He commanded troops in battles with Egypt and Syria. He was formerly a corps commander and commander of the IDF Military Colleges.


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YouTube Censors MEMRI - For 'Harmful Or Dangerous Content' - MEMRI


MEMRI TV Translated Clip Exposing Statements By Anti-Semitic Gaza Religious Scholar At 'Return March': 'The Sword Of Jihad... Is Brandished' Against The Jews; 'I Call Upon Every Muslim: Do Not... Let Those Jews Spread Corruption... You Must Carry Out Glorious Deeds Against Them'

A MEMRI TV clip posted on April 24, 2018 on the MEMRI TV YouTube channel translated and exposed anti-Semitic statements by Gaza religious scholar Khaled Hany Morshid. The MEMRI TV clip shows Morshid at the Gaza "Return March" stating in a religious lecture that "one of the greatest duties... and best forms of worship... is to fight those Jews." He goes on to state that in order to stop the Jews, the "sword of jihad for the sake of Allah is brandished and they are made an example of," and adds: "I call upon every Muslim: Do not stand idly by and let those Jews spread corruption... You must carry out glorious deeds against them."

YouTube: "Video Removed: Inappropriate Content"

The same day, YouTube removed this MEMRI TV clip from the channel, with the message: "Video Removed: Inappropriate content."

YouTube also posted on the page a notification explaining that the video had been "flagged for review" – that is, by YouTube users – and that YouTube had subsequently "determined that it violates our guidelines." It added, "We've removed it from YouTube and assigned a Community Guidelines strike, or temporary penalty, to your account" and warned: "If you receive three or more of one of the types of strikes listed above, we may have to disable your account."

MEMRI Appeals YouTube Decision To Remove Clip; YouTube Rejects Appeal

MEMRI appealed YouTube's decision to remove the clip, explaining that it is an educational resource and part of the research of the MEMRI Lantos Anti-Semitism and Holocaust Denial archives, which exposes anti-Semitism in the Arab and Muslim world and provides informational infrastructure for policies and strategies to counter anti-Semitism.  

This appeal was rejected by YouTube, which stated: "After further review of the content, we've determined that your video does violate our Community Guidelines and have upheld our original decision."

It should be noted that at the end of every MEMRI TV clip it is stated: "MEMRI is a non-partisan, independent research institute providing research, analysis, and translation of primary materials covering a wide range of issues, including terrorism and ideological  trends in the Middle East. These video clips are provided as a public service to an international viewing audience to bridge the language gap and better educate and inform. Material about statements by terrorists and extremists is provide to alert the public to threats, and in no way constitutes an endorsement of such activities."

YouTube Removed MEMRI's Previous YouTube Channel – Which Had Over 60,000 Subscribers, Hundreds Of Millions Of Views

MEMRI's previous YouTube channel, which had more than 60,000 subscribers and hundreds of millions of views, was terminated in July 2016; despite MEMRI's numerous appeals for information to resolve the outstanding issues and to regain access to the account, we were never successful in doing so.

An article published March 2, 2017  by Tablet magazine, "Why Is YouTube Punishing People Who Translate and Expose Anti-Semitism on Its Platform?" highlighted the termination of our YouTube account. It stated: "For years, YouTube has been taking down videos that translate and expose anti-Semitism and punishing those who post them. Perhaps the most notable victim of this censorship is MEMRI, the Middle East Media Research Institute."

The article went on to describe the importance of MEMRI's work, saying: "MEMRI translates television and media from across the Middle East, highlighting both bigotry and those activists who seek to fight it." It also explains YouTube's flagging system and how an account can be terminated like MEMRI's was: "YouTube's system for identifying problematic content relies on users flagging and reporting allegedly objectionable videos. Site staff then sort through the reports and remove content at their discretion. Unfortunately, this process is easily gamed by those bigots and their sympathizers who don’t want MEMRI's material out there."

MEMRI Calls On YouTube To Rescind Wrongly Applied "Strike" Against Channel

MEMRI is the only organization in the world that comprehensively monitors anti-Semitism in the print and broadcast media, education systems and schoolbooks, and Friday sermons in mosques in the Arab and Muslim world, and produces hundreds of reports and videos on the material it has found. MEMRI's Lantos Archives on Anti-Semitism and Holocaust Denial are the largest archives in the world of translated Arabic, Farsi, Turkish and Urdu/Pashtu material on anti-Semitism from the past two decades.

It should be noted that in the past, MEMRI has met with YouTube to discuss the issue of jihadi and anti-Semitic content on the platform. MEMRI has done extensive research on this subject, including how YouTube allows U.S.-designated terrorist organizations, among them Hamas and Hezbollah, to maintain multiple accounts – thus violating YouTube's own Terms of Service and Community Guidelines.

MEMRI has worked closely with leading agencies devoted to the issue of anti-Semitism, such as the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and Yad Vashem Israel Holocaust Memorial, and others. MEMRI has also worked on this issue with the U.S. State Department and bipartisan Members of Congress, among them then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, then-House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, then-House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, U.S. Vice President Joseph R. Biden, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Sen. John McCain, then-Secretary of State John Kerry, and then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

View MEMRI TV Clip "Gaza Scholar Khaled Hany Morshid At 'Return March' Venue Calls To Brandish The Sword of Jihad, Fight The Jews" 

Below is the full transcript of the MEMRI TV clip that YouTube removed from the MEMRI YouTube channel.

To view this clip on MEMRI TV, click here or below: 

Khaled Hany Morshid: "Allah mentioned the enmity of the Jews toward Islam and the Muslims in His book, saying: 'You will find that the people strongest in enmity for those who believe are the Jews.'


"The Prophet Muhammad did not take his dealings with them lightly. His clever way of dealing with them was to make an example of them. When a Jew tried to violate the honor of a Muslim woman, the Muslims arose in arms to fight the Jews, and to drive them out of Medina. The Banu Qaynuqa' tribe was among the most courageous of the Jews. They were brave people of war. But when they began to display enmity toward Islam and the Muslims, the Prophet Muhammad banished them from Medina, uprooting them completely. Similarly, when the Jews of the Qurayza tribe violated their treaty with the Prophet Muhammad, the Prophet Muhammad exterminated them, down to the very last one.

"The best way to describe the record of the Prophet's treatment of the Jews is one of violence and force toward the Jews. This is what all the Muslims should know. The relation between us and them is one of eternal enmity. The Jews will never stop this enmity unless the sword of Jihad for the sake of Allah is brandished, and they are made an example of, as was done by the Prophet Muhammad.


"I call upon every Muslim: Do not stand idly by and let those Jews spread corruption upon the land. [You must] carry out glorious deeds against them. One of the greatest duties, and one of the best forms of worship in our day, is to fight those Jews."



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Trump's Three Conditions for Fixing the Iran Deal Are Now Imperative - Malcolm Lowe

by Malcolm Lowe

The miniature minds of the apologists are simply incapable of grasping the historic magnitude of the Mossad's discovery.

  • What the assorted apologists for the Iran nuclear deal have failed to grasp is a simple distinction: the difference between suspicions and confirmation. The IAEA based its assessments on "over a thousand pages" of documents; now we have a hundred thousand.
  • Moreover, these are in effect a hundred thousand signed confessions of the Iranian regime that it intended to create nuclear weapons and load them on missiles manufactured by itself. The miniature minds of the apologists are simply incapable of grasping the historic magnitude of the Mossad's discovery.
The picture of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu standing before two displays, one of file folders and one of compact discs, symbolizes possibly the greatest coup in the history of espionage: the Mossad's acquisition of the archive of Iran's program to create nuclear weapons. A runner up for that title might be the advance information about Operation Overlord, the Allied landing in France at the end of World War II, supplied by Elyesa Bazna from Ankara and Paul Fidrmuc from Lisbon.

Nazi Germany failed to act on that information about the intended landing site on D-Day. Instead, it fell victim to false information provided by a supposed spy who was working for the Allies. The parallel to that failure is the present rush of politicians and so-called experts who pretend that the Mossad's coup tells us nothing new and merely proves that the deal is more justified than ever. They claim, in particular, that before the deal was agreed the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) already knew the broad details of what the new information reveals.

What the assorted apologists for the Iran nuclear deal have failed to grasp is a simple distinction: the difference between suspicions and confirmation. The IAEA based its assessments on "over a thousand pages" of documents; now we have a hundred thousand.

Moreover, these are in effect a hundred thousand signed confessions of the Iranian regime that it intended to create nuclear weapons and load them on missiles manufactured by itself. The miniature minds of the apologists are simply incapable of grasping the historic magnitude of the Mossad's discovery.

Pictured: Two images from Iran's secret nuclear archive, as presented publicly by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu on April 30, 2018. In possibly the greatest coup in the history of espionage, Israel's Mossad acquired over 100,000 documents from the archive of Iran's program to create nuclear weapons. (Photo by Israel GPO)

Apart from Netanyahu himself, the most significant individual who understands that magnitude is President Trump. In February 2018, Trump informed the three European countries involved in the Iran deal about the defects that he wanted corrected in order to continue to certify the deal. As Reuters reported at the time:
"Trump sees three defects in the deal: its failure to address Iran's ballistic missile program; the terms under which international inspectors can visit suspect Iranian nuclear sites; and 'sunset' clauses under which limits on the Iranian nuclear program start to expire after 10 years. He wants all three strengthened if the United States is to stay in the deal."
The Mossad's coup has turned Trump's three proposals into three imperatives, not just to the Europeans but also to the two other states involved in the deal: Russia and China. (Russia, in particular, must grasp that major Russian cites are within missile range from Iran.) That is, if the deal is to survive, the sunset clauses must be cancelled, the IAEA must have freedom to inspect whatever it demands, and Iran's long-range missile capacity must be curtailed. This is because the Mossad has also supplied us with a hundred thousand signed confessions that the Iranian regime will resume and complete its plans for nuclear-armed missiles as soon as the deal permits it -- indeed authorizes it -- to do so.

Malcolm Lowe is a Welsh scholar specialized in Greek Philosophy, the New Testament and Christian-Jewish Relations. He has been familiar with Israeli reality since 1970.


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ISA Uncovers Hamas Money Smuggling Cell - imra

by imra

Following the Money...

The following has been cleared for publication:

The Israel Security Agency (ISA), in conjunction with the Israel Police and the IDF, has arrested several Hamas members in the Ramallah area who are suspected of having received tens of thousands of Euros, which were hidden throughout Judea and Samaria and were designated for Hamas activities.

On 7 March 2018, undercover Border Police officers, at Bir Zeit University, arrested Hamas member Omar Kiswani – a resident of Beit Iksa, 24, chairman of the student council on behalf of a Hamas-affiliated student group – for questioning by the ISA.

The ISA investigation showed that Kiswani was in contact with Hamas member Yassin Rabia, who had been expelled to the Gaza Strip in the context of the Shalit deal, as well as with Hamas members in Turkey, and had sought funds to advance Hamas activity at Bir Zeit University.

Rabia subsequently transferred to him approximately 150,000 Euros which were concealed in several locations throughout Judea and Samaria. Kiswani collected the money along with his friend and fellow Hamas student association member Yahya Alawi, 20. The two used the funds to promote Hamas activities.

The foregoing is yet another example of efforts by Hamas commanders in Turkey and the Gaza Strip to advance Hamas activities in Judea and Samaria by bringing in money and hiding it in various locales in order to fund its local infrastructures.

The investigation points to the deep involvement of Hamas members in Turkey and the Gaza Strip in efforts to advance Hamas activities in Judea and Samaria.

Exposing the efforts of Kiswani and Alawi further underscores the high importance Hamas command ascribes to student activities in its affiliated groups in order to recruit and train members in Judea and Samaria.

The case also underscores the great danger involved in such activity and its status as a significant additional arm of Hamas, the goal of which is to harm the State of Israel, despite its taking place at an institution of higher learning.

In 2017 a Gaza Strip-based Hamas cell was uncovered which had recruited Bir Zeit University students to perpetrate suicide attacks. Additional Hamas student group members have recently been discovered as having sought to commit shooting attacks in the Ramallah area.



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Towards Political Extinction - Yigal Carmon

by Yigal Carmon

It took 25 years for the truth to emerge, crystal clear: The Palestinians are not ready to give up the "right of return."

The Palestinian ship of state sinks beneath the sea (Source:, May 2, 2018)

These days, the Palestinian national movement is descending, before our very eyes, into an internecine struggle over the right to represent the Palestinians – a struggle that is bereft of any political meaning in terms of resolving the conflict with Israel. The octogenarian leader of this movement is completely losing his touch, spewing gutter anti-Semitism blaming the Jews for the Holocaust (see MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 7452, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas: Holocaust, Massacres Of European Jews Due To Their Function In Society As Usurers; Hitler Struck A Deal With The Jews, May 2, 2018) and bringing international condemnation upon himself.
How did we get to this point?

In 1993 in Oslo, after nearly a century of armed struggle, the PLO, then the representative of the Palestinian national movement, endorsed the political process. But the change was only tactical, for it was unaccompanied by an ideological transformation, without which the political process is a framework void of content. What ideological change would have made the political process a genuine road towards peaceful solution? The answer is simple: the renunciation of the "right of return."

It took 25 years for the truth to emerge, crystal clear: The Palestinians are not ready to give up the "right of return."

MEMRI's research showed, from the day of its establishment on February 7, 1998, that the Palestinians are unwilling to forgo the "right of return."[1] In fact, it showed much more: the Palestinian duplicity and doublespeak (inciting jihad in Arabic while negotiating with Israel), the PLO's involvement in terror attacks, and Arafat's unwillingness to move from the role of revolutionary to the role of a peace maker and statesman. But the one most important revelation, more important than anything else, was the PLO's insistence on the right of return, which doomed the whole process.

In all these years, only one figure in the Palestinian elite agreed to the trade-off: foregoing the right of return in exchange for full Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 borders. That figure was Professor Sari Nusseibeh, who formed a joint movement together with an Israeli counterpart. The movement numbered a few thousand Israelis and a handful of Palestinians. Nusseibeh was ostracized in his own camp and eventually left politics.

The Saudi Peace Plan of 2002 could have furnished a basis for a partition-based solution, because in its original version, it did not include the "right of return." However, after the Arab League amended it and grafted the "right of return" onto it, it became a non-starter (see MEMRI TV Clip No. 6031, Former Lebanese President Émile Lahoud Reveals How The Right Of Return Was Forced Into The Saudi Peace Plan In The 2002 Arab Summit (Archival), December 11, 2014 to May 22, 2017; see also Professor Itamar Rabinovich's analysis of that summit, The Warped Saudi Initiative,, April 7, 2002).

During the 25 years since Oslo, the conflict deteriorated further as Israelis of goodwill bought into the Palestinian political process tactic – void of the concrete political requisites for peace. Israel even deluded itself that postponing discussion of the "right of return" would cause the problem to fade away. But the very opposite occurred: the Palestinians interpreted this as tacit acceptance that the "right of return" would eventually be granted, an idea that no Israeli leadership ever entertained.

In recent years, by rejecting the proposals by Israeli prime ministers Barak and Olmert for an Israeli withdrawal from nearly all the occupied territories, and by failing, in the past year and a half, to even return to the negotiating table, the Palestinians have brought themselves back to square one: to their situation in 1947.

For the Zionist leadership, the test has always been the readiness to accept partition – and it has repeatedly passed this test. For the Palestinian leadership, the test was foregoing the "right of return" – and it has repeatedly failed the test.

True, a large portion of the Israeli public was antagonistic to partition, but those representing the majority of Israel's population were prepared to accept it. By clinging to the "right of return," the Palestinians spared Israel the need to go through with this choice, with all its potentially destructive internal repercussions.

The Palestinian insistence on the "right of return," and Israel's rejection of it – a rejection shared by nearly all parts of the Israeli political spectrum, from right to left – constitutes the real tragedy of the conflict. The overwhelming majority of Western countries do not expect Israel to agree to the "right of return." The problem of the settlements, which many place in the spotlight, is a problem that could be resolved in a variety of ways, but the insistence on the "right of return" dooms the two-state solution from the outset.

The Zionist path to statehood was characterized by readiness for compromise and pragmatism. This was not always the case in Jewish history. In the years 67-135 AD, the Jews believed they could make mincemeat of the Roman legionnaires and send them back to Rome – like Hamas today believes it can send the Jews back from whence they came. But instead, it was the Jews who were packed off to face two millennia of exile and annihilation. This catastrophic outcome was etched deeply into the psyche of most Jews, and induced most of the Zionist leadership to accept nearly any partition out of a "refusal to refuse" mentality. At the time when the British Royal Navy was turning away Jewish refugees and sending them back to die in Europe, Ben Gurion exhorted the Hebrew youth to enlist in the British army that was perpetrating this atrocity.

Where is the Palestinian national movement headed today?

Lacking the components vital for a political solution, and unable to persevere even in a sham political process, this movement may revert to armed struggle. For the moment, it has not done so. Even Hamas is endorsing – for now – a strategy of "popular struggle" rather than launching missile attacks on Israel.

An alternate scenario is for the Palestinian national movement to seek its future in Jordan. Admittedly, such a solution is not on the horizon. But given Jordan's Palestinian majority, for the long run this demographic imperative cannot be totally dismissed.

 A third scenario would see the Palestinian public integrate, albeit reluctantly and out of lack of choice, into Israel (the so-called one-state solution) while constantly fighting for all the rights it can get, both civil and national. This scenario is not materializing either.

Therefore, the only current development is further descent into decay and political extinction.

Given the Palestinian inability to renounce the "right of return," some would ask: Were there ever potential exit points from the conflict?

Two hypothetical scenarios come to mind:

Had King Hussein accepted a peace treaty in return for an Israeli withdrawal immediately after the 1967 war, the "right of return" issue might have faded, gradually but significantly.

Had Israel persisted in its principled refusal to recognize the PLO, the standard-bearer of the "right of return," and attempted to reach a gradual solution with a local Palestinian leadership, a more realistic, albeit bloody, process, could have commenced. This could have received significant political backing from Egypt, had Sadat survived.

But all this is both hypothetical and moot.

As long as the Palestinians fail to make an historical ideological change and forego the "right of return" component of their national identity and struggle, they have no prospect of actualizing any real national goal.

One hopes, for the Palestinians' sake, that it will not take them two millennia – as it took the Jews – to accept the need for moderation and pragmatism. 'Abbas's and the PLO's conviction that Israel is a colonialist project that is inexorably doomed will only prolong their suffering.

*Yigal Carmon is Founder and President of MEMRI.

[1] See:, February 7, 1998;, January 23, 1998.

Yigal Carmon is Founder and President of MEMRI.


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The Great Deception March on Gaza’s Border - Noah Beck

by Noah Beck

The truth about the latest Palestinian assault on Israel.

What would the US do if 30,000 Mexicans, organized by a known terrorist group, marched towards the Texas border, demanding to return to their ancestors’ homes, with many of the protesters throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails, carrying fence cutters, launching burning kites that set ablaze US territory near the border, igniting tires, and even shooting guns at US agents across the border? 

If the US used force to protect its border against such a “peaceful protest,” what percent of the 30,000 Mexicans would end up dead or injured? Would it be more or less than 40 (about .13%)? And how would the global media and human rights organizations react to these incidents?

Now consider the reaction to Israel’s defense against precisely this kind of assault on its sovereign border, dubbed the “Great Return March” and organized by Hamas, a US-State-Department-designated-terrorist organization. Hamas has acknowledged that at least five of its members were among those killed in the march. The number of terrorists involved in the related violence is likely much higher. According to the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, “32 of the 40 Palestinians killed (80%) were terrorist operatives or individuals affiliated with them.” 

If the “Great Return March” had any truth to it, the Hamas-organized propaganda offensive would have been called the “Great Deception March” because it is entirely founded upon deception. Just watch this this free, 10-documentary that includes footage of Gazan protestors faking or maximizing injuries for the media, revealing naked Jew hatred among themselves, and doing rather non-peaceful things like burning tires, attempting to damage the border fence, and hurling rocks over it. Incredibly, on April 6, an advisor to Mahmoud Abbas, leader of the Palestinian Authority (PA), himself highlighted the deceptive nature of the march, accusing Hamas of “only selling illusions, trading in suffering and blood.” Mahmoud Al-Habbash, Abbas’ Advisor on Islamic Affairs and Supreme Sharia Judge, delivered a sermon, broadcast on official PA TV, in the presence of Abbas, in which Al-Habbash accused Hamas of intentionally sending Palestinians in Gaza to “go and die,” only so that Hamas has stories of dead Palestinians for “the TV and media.” 

Hamas has a long history of using human shields to maximize Gazan casualties and thereby smear Israel’s image. As each of the last three Gaza-Israel wars has shown, the more Gazan victims Hamas can produce, the more easily Israel can be tarnished by the media and its consumers. Such demonization supports the broader goal of delegitimizing Israel legally, with lawfare attacks in  international forums, and economically, with boycotts, divestments, and sanctions (BDS).
  Hamas knows that most observers will simply focus on images of injured and killed Gazans, rather than blame Hamas for sending children towards a militarized border. Obviously, there would be no risk of provoking any forceful reaction from Israel’s border protection forces if the protests were peacefully held at a distance of at least 500 meters from the border. But instead, the protestors actively tried to damage the border fence itself, while threatening Israelis on the other side of it. Were they expecting hugs and flowers in response?

But the biggest deception of all behind the so-called “Great Return March” is deceiving the Palestinians themselves into thinking that they have any hope of “returning” to any homes or territory in present-day Israel that their ancestors might have occupied before 1948. Have Israeli Jews ever demanded a “return” to the millions of homes their ancestors lost in Europe, during the Holocaust, or in the Arab and Muslim world, from which roughly a million persecuted Jews were displaced between the 1940s and the 1970s? Instead, the Jews accepted the cruelty of history and focused their energies on building a vibrant state in the tiny sliver of land they were given the chance to develop in 1948. 

By contrast, when Gazans received a historic opportunity, after Israel’s 2005 unilateral withdrawal from Gaza, to prove that they can engage in responsible and peaceful state-building, they opted to turn Gaza into a Somalia rather than a Singapore. Instead of choosing coexistence and cooperation, Hamas has promoted a culture of anti-Israel hatred, while diverting Gaza’s resources to terrorist rockets and attack tunnels, even after launching and losing three wars against Israel in the span of seven years (2008, 2012, and 2014). 

Poor governance has consequences, as Gazans have painfully learned from a shortage of jobs, electricity, sanitation and other basic goods that Hamas has failed to deliver.

Yet global reaction to the Gaza border “protests” shows just how much the Great Deception March succeeded in deceiving so many, who end up blaming Israel while ignoring Hamas’ role in the violence and, more generally, giving Hamas a pass on its cruelty, corruption, and disastrous policies.

The human rights organization Amnesty International recently called for an arms embargo against Israel, arguing that Israel has been “killing and wounding of civilians demonstrating in Gaza by the Israeli forces, despite the fact that they don’t pose any immediate threat.”

If even Palestinian leaders see through the Hamas ruse, why do Amnesty, the UNthe NY Times, Bernie Sanders, and so many others have such a hard time understanding what's really going on?

Their reactions show no regard for history or context, and demonstrate how little Israelis can rely on the assurances of those pressuring them to make concessions to Israel’s sworn enemies.

Why is there no comparable outrage for Turkey's recent actions in Afrin, for example, where far more have died (500 civilians) and at least 150,000 have been displaced. Maybe because Palestinians somehow deserve a unique level of sympathy?

But then why has there been a deafening silence about the 36 Palestinian civilians killed during ten recent days of fighting in Yarmouk, Syria, which violence has produced an estimated 5,000 Palestinian refugees?

Maybe because, for example, the New York Times devoted almost four times as much coverage to Gaza than to Yarmouk. Comparing the Times’ coverage of the two conflict zones from April 17 (when fighting in Yarmouk began) through April 30, the results are striking:

-Yarmouk is covered by 22 articles with zero op-eds

-Gaza is covered by 81 articles, including at least three op-eds.

To put that distorted Times’ focus into perspective, nearly 4,000 Palestinians in Syria have been killed since 2011 – about double the number of Gazans, including terrorists, killed in all conflicts with Israel during the same period. Such figures, coupled with the Times’ well documented and extensive bias against Israel, suggest that the disproportionate coverage is driven more by an anti-Israel animus than any compassion for Palestinian suffering.

It has been an article of faith among European and US “progressives” that Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians could be resolved if only Israel withdraws from territory that it conquered in 1967, after surrounding Arab armies threatened to annihilate the NJ-sized country. In 2005, to test that idea and hopefully promote better relations with Gazans, Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza Strip. 

Israelis on the right argued that such a move would be perceived as a surrender out of weakness, and the power vacuum created by the Disengagement, as Israel’s 2005 Gaza withdrawal was called, would be quickly filled by extremists who exploit their newfound freedom to attack Israel. 

Israelis on the left claimed that taking a big risk to promote better relations, and eventually peace, with Gaza would strengthen Israel’s international standing. Those supporting the Disengagement also argued that it would bring Israel global support if ever the Israeli army was forced to defend its border with the Gaza territory that it evacuated. 

The Great Deception March shows just how much the right was right.

Noah Beck is the author of The Last Israelis, an apocalyptic novel about Iranian nukes and other geopolitical issues in the Middle East.


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Trump: A New Vision of the Middle East - Ahmed Charai

by Ahmed Charai

The US president, branded as "unpredictable," has received the fiercest criticism; but a foreign policy is measured by its results.

The last Trump-Macron Summit was a masterpiece of communication. The two men multiplied their signs of complicity and intimacy in front of the cameras. To indicate the strength of their relationship, The French president even declared, "We are two Mavericks." In addition, both criticized the difficulties imposed by the political system, while emphasizing that they have never been politicians to be used, nor were they part of a partisan machine.

Yet the president of the United States did not surrender: not on the climate, nor on Iranian nuclear energy, nor on trade protectionism, nor on any subject. He did not stop repeating, emulating Macron: "I do what I say." In his first year in office, Donald Trump has received the fiercest criticism. International observers have not tired of repeating that he is "unpredictable." But a foreign policy is judged by its results.The so-criticized "extremism" against North Korea has not led to a nuclear war. On the contrary, under pressure, China managed to convince its ally to accept negotiations for denuclearization, something unthinkable a few months ago.

Trump and Macron at the White House. Emulating his French counterpart, the US president kept repeating: "I do what I say." Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

In the Middle East, the American demands, that is, the security of Israel, have been respected. They have achieved an objective alliance between the Gulf monarchies and the Jewish state in opposition to Iran. In return, the Sunni monarchies were called on to finance the war effort.

Trump's decisions can be challenged, but they cannot be reduced to the moods of an unpredictable man. Trump, to gather the necessary regional support, has emphasized bilateral relations. The diplomacy of international summits is not his favorite.

His "twittomania" and the prevarications of his Administration have contributed to the blows at his actions at the international level and to the idea of ​​unpredictability. This is the explanation that can be given to the "Maelstrom", which referred to basic posts in the administrative machine.

After several attempts, Trump seems to have found some stability with three complementary profiles for key positions. Thus, Gina Haspel, who has been head of the CIA, has devoted her entire career to the agency and is an expert in the fight against terrorism. She is called "the iron lady," as she favors the strong methods that correspond to the speech of the president of the United States. Above all, he has an absolute distrust of Iran.

Rex Tillerson, on the other hand, was replaced in the State Department by Mike Pompeo.The former director of the CIA is also aggressive regarding Iran. By relying on his partisan experience in the US Congress and his transfer to the CIA, he would be able to reject the president's strategies.

He spoke in his Senate hearing about "strengthening the finest diplomatic corps in the world. America and the world need us to be that."

He made his first trip to the Middle East beginning with Israel. While maintaining its hard line on Iran, the basis of an objective alliance between the Jewish state and the regional Sunni powers, he also affirmed that "the main priority is to destroy ISIS and other terrorist groups." The problem of the financing of terrorist groups is there even for the regional allies of the United States.

According to The Washington Post, Qatar has paid hundreds of millions of dollars to various terrorist groups to free their hostages, particularly members of the royal family. According to the same newspaper, those hundreds of millions of Kuwaiti dollars were donated to Syrian rebel groups such as Jabhat al Nusra. Former US Treasury Secretary Davis S. Cohen described Kuwait as "a kind of fundraiser for terrorist groups in Syria." All this is real challenge for the Trump Administration and its objective effectively to combat terrorism in the region.

Finally, John Bolton, the new National Security Advisor, is a neoconservative "hawk" of the Bush era. He has appealed for bombing North Korea to defend the interests of the United States instead of getting stuck in multilateral agreements. Bolton recently said on Fox News that Trump should only meet with the Korean president if he "agrees to give up his entire nuclear weapons program" --proof that he is the interpreter of the ultimate reasons for the president having been elected, far from the influence of the media.

This triptych will be the basis of the policy that Trump can implement without presidential problems. He will surely withdraw from the agreement with Iran, which, despite the pleas of the European Union, he considers catastrophic. At the same time, it would likely strengthen the Arab-Israeli alliance against Iran. The discussions with North Korea will be difficult, if not tumultuous. The question of Russia will remain.

The United States is less concerned about Ukraine and the Crimea, but Syria represents the risk of a direct conflict. To avoid this direct confrontation and have others pay for the war effort, Trump would like to replace US troops with Arab troops. The famous political solution is not a priority at this time. There is nothing unpredictable in the agenda of the world leader. Will it work? History will speak.

This article was first published in La Razon. It is reprinted here with minor changes 

Ahmed Charai is Chairman and CEO of Global Media Holding. He sits on the Board of Directors of The Atlantic Council in Washington and International Councilors at The Center for Strategic and International Studies. He is also Board of Trustees of the The Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia, a member of The National Interest's Advisory Council and a member of the Advisory Council of Gatestone Institute in New York.


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Irony Defined: Eric Holder's Firm Enlisted By Facebook To Investigate Bias Against Conservatives - Tyler Durden

by Mac Slavo

Hat tip: Jean-Charles Bensoussan

Another example of the Orwellian "logic" prevailing in U.S. political culture today

The amount of irony here is astounding. Leftist liberal and former attorney general Eric Holder’s firm was enlisted by the leftists over at Facebook to investigate the social media giant’s bias against conservatives. There couldn’t be a more humorously ironic story than this one.

At first, it seemed like Facebook might be trying to do the right thing: investigate the bias against those who aren’t leftists using the social media platform.

The tech company enlisted a team from law firm Covington and Burling to advise them on combating perceptions of bias against conservatives. But there’s one minor detail that Breitbart happened to pick up on: Covington and Burling is the firm of Barack Obama’s left-wing former attorney general, Eric Holder.

Eric Holder was a part of the very administration that weaponized the IRS against conservatives during Barack Obama’s reign of terror.

In issuing an “apology” to the clients represented by the ACLJ, the IRS admitted that it was wrong to use the United States tax code simply because of an entity’s name. They also admitted the bombshell fact that this discrimination happened specifically because of the applicants’ political viewpoints. Keep in mind the fact that the mainstream media has spent years telling the American people that this didn’t happen.
In other words, outlets such as The Washington Post, CNN, and The New York Times directly lied to their readers and viewers to protect a Democratic president whose administration was openly breaking the law. –SHTFPlan
After the apology from the Department of Justice, Eric Holder flat out said that the DOJ should not have apologized to conservatives for using the IRS as a weapon against their political enemies.

Former Attorney General Eric H. Holder said the Trump administration was wrong to have apologized to tea party groups snared in the IRS’s targeting scandal, saying it was another example of the new team undercutting career people at the Justice Department who’d initially cleared the IRS of wrongdoing.
That apology was unnecessary, unfounded and inconsistent, it seems to me, with the responsibilities that somebody who would seek to lead the Justice Department should have done,” Mr. Holder said. –The Washington Times
Holder had ordered a criminal probe into the IRS’s handling of tea party applications after the 2013 revelation by an inspector general that the tax agency had subjected conservative groups to intrusive and inappropriate scrutiny when they applied for nonprofit status.

And not surprising in the least, that probe eventually cleared the IRS, saying that while there was bungling, there was no ill intent. The probe specifically cleared former IRS senior executive Lois G. Lerner, saying rather than a problem, she was actually a hero, reporting bad practices when she spotted them.

But have no fear, conservatives! Now this same guy’s firm has your back and will be helping Facebook with the same problem. To sum up: Facebook, a California-based company, has enlisted the same firm that is providing legal advice to their state against the Trump administration, through none other than Eric Holder, to advise them on combating perceptions of bias against conservatives.

The good news is that The Heritage Foundation will also be working with Facebook on the same issue. According to Axios, the conservative think-tank will “will convene meetings on these issues with Facebook executives.” Klon Kitchen, a former adviser to Senator Ben Sasse who now works as a tech policy expert at Heritage, has reportedly hosted an event with Facebook’s head of global policy management.

Mac Slavo via


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