Friday, March 15, 2019

Terror-Connected Lawyer Running for City Commission in Florida - Joe Kaufman

by Joe Kaufman

A dire warning to all potential voters.

When visiting Khurrum Wahid’s Facebook page, you see photos of what appears to be a clean-cut politician attending different events, posing with important politicos, standing with young people, and smiling broadly for the camera. Wahid is running for the position of City Commissioner of Coral Springs, Florida, and his Facebook page has been manufactured to show the perfect candidate for the public’s view. What is hidden behind this fa├žade, though, is Wahid’s history – and present – of his involvement in radical Islam. It is this other side of Wahid that the voters need to recognize, so that they do not make a huge mistake come Election Day.

On June 18th, a ‘Special Election’ will be held for Coral Springs City Commission, Seat 2. The former Commissioner, Dan Daley, has left the seat vacant – following his win in a State House Special Election – and is heading to the Florida State Legislature, in Tallahassee. One of the individuals vying for his Commission seat is Khurrum Wahid. A February photo of Wahid, on his Facebook candidate page, has him posing with Daley and another recent candidate for Florida State House, Imtiaz Mohammad, who in December, slammed America and her citizens, saying “America [is] run on hate” and "American people are the most uneducated nation in the world." Mohammad was part of a ‘host committee’ for a February fundraising event for Wahid.

Khurrum Basir Wahid is a Pakistani-born South Florida attorney, who has built his name on representing high profile terrorists. His past clients include: Rafiq Sabir, who received a 25-year prison sentence for conspiring to provide material support to al-Qaeda; al-Qaeda operative Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, who received a life sentence for plotting to assassinate President George W. Bush; Sami al-Arian, who sought to create a Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) infrastructure within the Tampa, Florida-area; and Miami imam Hafiz Khan, who was convicted of sending $50,000 to the Pakistani Taliban with the intent to murder American troops overseas.

According to the Miami New Times, Wahid himself was placed on a federal terrorist watch list in 2011. The publication states, “[S]ometimes, a clash between his work and personal life is inescapable. Last year, he landed on a federal ‘selectee’ list – a terrorist watch list. Now he gets a pat down at the airport before flying and can't print boarding passes at home.”                      
Besides his controversial law practice, Wahid is the Co-Chairman of Emgage Action (formerly Emerge USA), an Islamist group he founded, in 2006, that attempts to pass its extremist agenda off as political advocacy. The group is part of the South Florida Muslim Federation, a consortium of South Florida’s radical Islamic organizations and terror-related mosques. Ammar Ahmed, the South Florida Director of Emgage, in February 2010, following a debate he participated in at a school, wrote on Facebook, “I hate white people” and joked that he “should have threatened to blow up the school.”

Emgage holds events at terror-linked mosques, like Tampa, Florida-based al-Qassam (a.k.a. Islamic Community of Tampa), which was founded by Sami al-Arian, and Pembroke Pines, Florida-based Darul Uloom, where “Dirty Bomber” Jose Padilla was a student; now-deceased al-Qaeda Commander Adnan el-Shukrijumah was a prayer leader; and current imam Shafayat Mohamed has claimed gay sex caused the 2004 Indonesian tsunami. As well, Emgage has sponsored speeches made by Islamic lecturer Sayed Ammar Nakshawani, who is a devotee of the deceased Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and who has called for the destruction of Israel.

Prior to creating Emgage, Wahid served as a legal advisor for the national office of the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and a director of CAIR’s Florida chapter. Since its founding, in June 1994, CAIR has been associated with Hamas. CAIR was established as part of an umbrella group headed by then-global leader of Hamas, Mousa Abu Marzook, and CAIR has been cited by the US government for its involvement in the financing of Hamas.

The mosque Wahid attends is the Islamic Foundation of South Florida (IFSF). Wahid, as well, is the Registered Agent for IFSF’s corporation. On IFSF Youth Group leader Abdur Rahman al-Ghani’s Facebook page, al-Ghani labels Jews “demonic,” calls the US the “World’s Number One Terrorist Organization,” and says Muslims “will overtake the World.”

One of the co-founders and current director of IFSF is Mohammed Javed Quereshi. Quereshi, who is also a member of Wahid’s campaign fundraising ‘host committee,’ is credited with giving “Dirty Bomber” Jose Padilla his first Quran and inviting him to mosque, prior to Padilla converting to Islam, joining al-Qaeda, and plotting to set off a radiological bomb in the US.

In June 2013, IFSF hosted a Ramadan Prep Youth Night featuring Masjid Jamaat Al Mumineen (MJAM) imam Izhar Khan, who had just spent 20 months in a Miami federal detention center on charges of terrorism. According to the US Justice Department, “Izhar is a Pakistani Taliban sympathizer who worked with [his father Hafiz] and others to collect and deliver money for the Pakistani Taliban… Izhar… provided and attempted to provide material support and resources… knowing and intending that they be used in preparation for and in carrying out… a conspiracy to murder, kidnap, and maim persons in a foreign country.”

Wahid has referred to Izhar Khan as a “rising star” and a “sweet kid.”

In April 2014, IFSF hosted a talk by then-Muslim American Society (MAS) Executive Director Mazen Mokhtar. Mokhtar is a former administrator for the al-Qaeda recruitment site, (Jihad in Chechnya), and has called Hamas operations “heroic” and suicide bombings “an effective method of attacking the enemy and continuing jihad.”

Khurrum Wahid's associations and actions present a serious threat to the democratic process, which he aims to exploit to further his Islamist agenda. His candidacy is a danger to society and national security. His terror-tainted associations should have made him completely unelectable. Yet, he has qualified to be on the ballot, along with a number of others.

As of this writing, there are nine candidates for Coral Springs City Commission, Seat 2, and with so many people in the race – a race that few are watching – it is quite possible for Wahid to win with a small number of votes. But even one vote for Wahid would be an injustice.

A vote for Wahid is a vote for radical Islam.

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

Joe Kaufman was the 2014, 2016 and 2018 Republican nominee for United States House of Representatives in Florida’s 23rd Congressional District against Debbie Wasserman Schultz. He is an expert in the fields of counter-terrorism, foreign affairs and energy independence for America. He has been featured on all major cable networks, including Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, PBS and C-SPAN. Joe has been instrumental in getting terrorist charities shut down and terror-related individuals put behind bars. Exactly one month prior to the September 11 attacks, he predicted the attacks by stating in an article that “the 1993 World Trade Center bombing was no aberration” and that it would happen again.


Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

Ilhan Omar's jaw-dropping doublethink on dual allegiances - Jack Cashill

by Jack Cashill

What offends Omar and others like her on the left is an allegiance to, or any kind of affection for, Israel.

Somalia-born congresswoman Ilhan Omar has made more waves in two months than most members of Congress do in a lifetime. Indeed, were it not for the equally telegenic congresswoman Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, Omar would be the clear frontrunner for the Democrats' rookie of year honors.

To her dubious credit, Omar has not only mastered English in her relatively short stay in this country, but mastered Valley Girl English. Her lilting syntax makes her frequent anti-Semitic tropes seem less barbed than intended.

To explain her concern about the "Benjamins" Jews are allegedly distributing to buy pro-Israeli policy, Omar told a small crowd at a D.C. bookstore, "I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country."

The foreign country Omar had in mind, of course, was Israel. As shall be seen, however, the idea of a dual allegiance does not offend her. What offends Omar and others like her on the Left is an allegiance to, or any kind of affection for, Israel.

In her book, dual allegiances are fine. Omar herself made the case for the phenomenon in a speech she gave during the 2016 election cycle to a group reportedly called the "Revolution Somali Youth League." Although the video of her speech has been seen fewer than 9,000 times, it is well produced and readily accessible on YouTube.

The most intriguing part of the speech begins at about the 45-second mark. "In 2016, this election cycle, and you guys have the ability to make an impact on where our nation is headed, not only here in the United States but even in our nation back home. Right?"

"Our nation back home?" Even the most ardent American Zionist would shy from language that conflicted. Omar continued, "You have to make sure you are preparing yourself and that you are gaining enough knowledge to be able to transfer some of that." Indeed, she makes America seem like little more than an academic refueling station. This may explain why she pushes forcefully in this speech for free college educations.

George Orwell described "doublethink" as "the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them." To Omar, though, these thoughts are not really contradictory. As she sees it, the most ruthless and oppressive force in the Middle East is simply not worthy of allegiance.

To quote Orwell again, "[f]reedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four." Omar and her friends on the left have sacrificed that freedom. To regularly accuse the most enlightened country in the Middle East of being the most oppressive is to insist that two plus two equals five.

Jack Cashill


Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

Residents of Efrat have had enough - Mordechai Sones

by Mordechai Sones

Judean city residents launch uncompromising grassroots campaign to halt land theft that threatens their homes.

Illegal Arab building choking Efrat's northern approach
Illegal Arab building choking Efrat's northern approach                                         Regavim
The people of Efrat in Judea have had enough. They're tired of watching the illegal Arab construction that is choking the northern neighborhoods of Efrat and threatening the safety of motorists on the roads that lead to their homes. They're tired of filing unanswered complaints with the authorities. They're tired of appealing to their municipality. They have decided to take legal action – and are launching a grassroots campaign to support their battle.

New, palatial homes are springing up only meters away from the northern neighborhoods of Efrat – on land under full Israeli jurisdiction, in "Area C" – that are choking the legal Jewish neighborhoods and threatening motorists on the Efrat Tzafon road.
Unchecked spread of illegal Arab building chokes Efrat's north                                  Regavim
Residents of Efrat have been through the bureaucratic labyrinth, lodging formal complaints and raising the issue with their municipality – to no avail. Now, they have begun to organize a citizens' movement to protect their community, the rest of Gush Etzion, and Israeli sovereignty over strategic territory south of Jerusalem.

"We all know how difficult it is to obtain a building permit in Efrat," says Regavim Director General and Efrat resident Meir Deutsch, "but the illegal building spree that is going on only 50 meters from the homes of the Dagan and Tamar neighborhoods hasn't elicited any response at all."

Proximity of illegal Arab building to Efrat homes                                                                     Regavim
Regavim charts land theft                                                                                               Regavim
A group of Efrat residents has decided they've waited long enough for their elected officials who are unable or unwilling to halt the illegal expansion of Bethlehem into Area C right outside their windows and are organizing a grassroots legal campaign.

Attorney Michael Shapiro has issued preliminary letters before filing a lawsuit aimed at forcing authorities to act against this PA-orchestrated land theft in Gush Etzion.

"Tomorrow (Friday 15 March, 8 Adar II) at 10am, a fact-finding tour will set out from the Dagan Synagogue. Residents of Efrat, of Gush Etzion, of Judea and Samaria – in fact, anyone who wants to see how the 'State of Palestine' is being built right now, today, right on our doorstep – is encouraged to join us," adds Deutsch.

The land theft continues as we speak                                                                                  Regavim

Mordechai Sones


Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

ISIS Spokesman: 'What’s Our Crime? We Just Wanted to Apply Sharia.' - Robert Spencer

by Robert Spencer

And what could possibly be wrong with that?

In a new video, an Islamic State (ISIS) spokesman named Abu Abd al-Azeem, “whose speech,” noted Reuters, “is peppered with Koranic recitations,” complained about the bad rap his cuddly group has gotten. “Why are we bombed by planes,” he asked plaintively, “why do all the nations of the unbelieving world come together to fight us?…What is our guilt? What is our crime? We (just) wanted to apply the sharia of Allah.”

Indeed. And now, in light of that statement, here are some questions that mainstream counterterror analysts should ponder deeply: did the Islamic State actually apply Sharia? ISIS is routinely dismissed as un-Islamic, but what exactly did they do that cannot be backed up by specific citations from the Qur’an and Hadith? And if the Islamic State just wanted to apply Sharia, and Sharia is entirely benign and compatible with Western values, as Western analysts also regularly insist, then why did the whole world regard the Islamic State as a criminal entity that must be destroyed? Why was it not welcomed into the family of nations, alongside other Sharia regimes including Saudi Arabia and Iran?

The cognitive dissonance arises, of course, from the assurances we received from the likes of Barack Obama, Joe Biden, John Kerry, David Cameron, and virtually every other authority in the Western world that the Islamic State was not Islamic, and indeed, had nothing whatsoever to do with Islam.

This reached absurd levels during the Obama administration. “ISIL does not operate in the name of any religion,” said Obama’s Deputy State Department spokesperson Marie Harf in August 2014. “The president has been very clear about that, and the more we can underscore that, the better.” Yet Abu Abd al-Azeem’s words above make it abundantly clear, as does every other statement ever issued by ISIS, that the group believes itself to be operating in the name of Islam, and indeed, to embody the fullness of Islamic teaching.  In June 2014, a video circulated of a masked Islamic State commander telling a cheering crowd: “By Allah, we embarked on our Jihad only to support the religion of Allah….Allah willing, we will establish a state ruled by the Quran and the Sunna….All of you honorable Muslims are the soldiers of the Muslim State.” He promised that the Islamic State would establish “the Sharia of Allah, the Quran, and the Sunna” as the crowed repeatedly responded with screams of “Allahu akbar.”

Everything ISIS did in its heyday was clearly Islamic. The celebrated beheadings were implementation of a Qur’anic command. The Qur’an says straightforwardly, “When you meet the unbelievers, strike the necks” (47:4).

But surely the Islamic State’s practice of kidnapping Yazidi and Christian women and pressing them into sex slavery was un-Islamic, no? No. The Qur’an says that in addition to wives (“two or three or four”), Muslim men may enjoy the “captives of the right hand” (4:3, 4:24). These are specified as being women who have been seized as the spoils of war” (33:50) and are to be used specifically for sexual purposes, as men are to “guard their private parts except from their wives or those their right hands possess” (23:5-6).

If these women are already married, no problem. Islamic law directs that “when a child or a woman is taken captive, they become slaves by the fact of capture, and the woman’s previous marriage is immediately annulled.” (Reliance of the Traveller, 09.13)

ISIS knew this. In the October 2014 issue of its Dabiq magazine, it stated: “Enslaving the families of the kuffar [non-believers] and taking their women as concubines is a firmly established aspect of the Sharia.” In a November 2014 video of gleeful Islamic State jihadis laughing and bantering at a sex slave auction, one of the fighters declares: “Today is the slave market day. Today is the day where this verse applies, ‘Except with their wives and the (captives) whom their right hands possess, for (then) they are not to be blamed.” That is Qur’an 23:5-6, which tells Muslim men to “guard your private parts except with your wives and the captives of your right hand.”

On December 15, 2014, the Islamic State released a document entitled “Clarification [regarding] the Hudud” – that is, punishments Allah specifies in the Qur’an. This was essentially the Islamic State’s penal code, and every aspect of it was drawn from Islamic teaching.

It mandated death for blasphemy against Allah or Muhammad. The document specified that murder and stealing would be punished by death and crucifixion – that is, crucifixion of the dead body. Murder alone would be punishable by death. Stealing as part of banditry would be rewarded with the amputation of the right hand and the left leg, and terrorizing people would result in exile.

All this was derived from this Qur’anic verse: “Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment, except for those who return before you apprehend them. And know that Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” (5:33-34)

Blasphemy against Islam was likewise punishable by death, also as per the Qur’an: “If they violate their oaths after pledging to keep their covenants, and attack your religion, you may fight the leaders of paganism – you are no longer bound by your covenant with them – that they may refrain” (Qur’an 9:12)

Adulterers were to be stoned to death; fornicators would be give 100 lashes and exile. Stoning was in the hadith – a hadith in which the caliph Umar said it had once been in the Qur’an:

‘Umar said, “I am afraid that after a long time has passed, people may say, “We do not find the Verses of the Rajam (stoning to death) in the Holy Book,” and consequently they may go astray by leaving an obligation that Allah has revealed. Lo! I confirm that the penalty of Rajam be inflicted on him who commits illegal sexual intercourse, if he is already married and the crime is proved by witnesses or pregnancy or confession.” Sufyan added, “I have memorized this narration in this way.” ‘Umar added, “Surely Allah’s Apostle carried out the penalty of Rajam, and so did we after him.” (Bukhari 8.86.6829)

Sodomy (homosexuality) was also to be punished by death, as per Muhammad’s reported words: “If you find anyone doing as Lot’s people did, kill the one who does it, and the one to whom it is done.” (Sunan Abu Dawood 38:4447)

The hand of the thief would be amputated: “The thief, the male and the female, amputate their hands in recompense for what they committed as a deterrent from Allah. And Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.” (Qur’an 5:38)

Those who drank alcohol would be lashed 80 times, also as per a hadith:

“Abu Huraira said, ‘A man who drank wine was brought to the Prophet. The Prophet said, “Beat him!” Abu Huraira added, “So some of us beat him with our hands, and some with their shoes, and some with their garments (by twisting it) like a lash, and then when we finished, someone said to him, ‘May Allah disgrace you!’ On that the Prophet said, ‘Do not say so, for you are helping Satan to overpower him.'” (Bukhari 8.86.6777)

Slanderers would likewise get eighty lashes: “And those who accuse chaste women and then do not produce four witnesses – lash them with eighty lashes and do not accept from them testimony ever after. And those are the defiantly disobedient.” (Qur’an 24:4)

Those caught spying for the unbelievers would be put to death: “Let not believers take disbelievers as allies rather than believers. And whoever does that has nothing with Allah, except when taking precaution against them in prudence. And Allah warns you of Himself, and to Allah is the destination.” (Qur’an 3:28)

Apostates would also be put to death: “They wish you would disbelieve as they disbelieved so you would be alike. So do not take from among them allies until they emigrate for the cause of Allah. But if they turn away, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them and take not from among them any ally or helper.” (Qur’an 4:89)

So did the Islamic State just try to implement the Sharia? Yes. Western analysts and policymakers should ponder the implications of that fact. But they won’t.

Robert Spencer


Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

Israel vs. its Enemies in Europe - Ruthie Blum

by Ruthie Blum

The singling-out of Israel probably tells more about Ireland's longstanding history of anti-Semitism than about the country it has been targeting.

  • Ireland's Senate recently voted to support organizations, many headed by terrorists, in imposing a boycott on Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East. This, while hardly ever uttering a critical word about countries such as China, Iran, North Korea, Russia, Turkey, Mauritania, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, Nigeria, Sudan or South Sudan.
  • The singling-out of Israel probably tells more about Ireland's longstanding history of anti-Semitism than about the country it has been targeting.
  • It is time for the world to cease and desist in its efforts to demonize Israel, and to admit to its use of and reliance on the innovation and technology for healing that Israel -- turning no one away -- always graciously provides. It would be a welcome change if its adversaries were half as ethical.

Even while leaders of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas glorify terrorism against innocent Israelis and call for sanctions against Israel, they frequently turn to Israel for medical care, often for cancer treatments. For example, PA President Mahmoud Abbas' brother and brother-in-law received life-saving treatments at Assuta Medical Center in Tel Aviv. Abbas' wife underwent surgery at that same hospital. Pictured: Assuta Medical Center. (Image source: Olegmay/Wikimedia Commons)

Ireland's Senate recently voted to support organizations, many headed by terrorists , in imposing a boycott on Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East. This, while hardly ever uttering a critical word about countries such as China, Iran, North Korea, Russia, Turkey, Mauritania, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, Nigeria, Sudan or South Sudan. The singling-out of Israel probably tells more about Ireland's longstanding history of anti-Semitism than about the country it has been targeting, particularly since it ignores that state's major contributions to world, including in the field of medicine. Take, for example, cancer research.

The national executive director of the Israel Cancer Research Fund, Mark A. Israel, recently explained why a tiny country such as Israel -- in which the "rate of cancer deaths for Jews... is among the lowest in the world" -- has made so many important strides in the fight against the deadly global disease for which there is not yet a cure.

"Israel's scientists are bringing to the cancer fight the same breathtaking innovation, urgency, breakthrough thinking, tireless determination, and adroit use of resources that have been the hallmark of Israeli science and technology for the last 70 years," wrote Israel, professor emeritus from the Dartmouth Medical School.
"[This has] led to such transformative discoveries as the cellular pathways and molecules which are targeted for the treatment of multiple myeloma, chronic myelogenous leukemia and other life-threatening tumors. More recently, Israeli scientists have made major contributions to the development of novel approaches to immunotherapy for the treatment of leukemia and other cancers."
Two major breakthroughs since the beginning of 2019 alone illustrate his point. Researchers from Israel's Bar-Ilan University and Harvard Medical School discovered a mechanism that allows the immune system to attack cancer cells, particularly in the lungs and on the skin; and the Israeli company IceCure successfully implemented cryoablation therapy -- a procedure that freezes cancerous tumors -- eliminating the need for surgery.

Last year, too, was significant in this field. The tech and innovation website NoCamels reported on the following seven breakthroughs in Israeli cancer research and detection in 2018:
  1. Israeli scientists at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology successfully treated a cancerous tumor using a synthetic cell that produces anti-cancer proteins within the tissue.
  2. Israeli scientists, also at the Technion, developed technology that enables drug delivery to target diseased tissue, using light and gold particles, making cancer treatments more effective.
  3. Tel Aviv University researchers used nanomedicine to inhibit the progression of pancreatic cancer in mouse models.
  4. The Israeli startup Nucleai raised $5 million in seed funding to continue developing an artificial intelligence-based system that assists pathologists in the diagnosis of cancer and other diseases in a speedier and more efficient manner.
  5. The Israeli company Micromedic Technologies developed technology for a non-invasive diagnostic test for prostate cancer.
  6. The Israeli company Todos Medical Ltd. conducted its first blind clinical trial for a blood test for breast-cancer screening at the Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot.
  7. The Israeli-founded social network for cancer patients and caregivers, Belong, announced partnered with Colorectal Cancer Canada (CCC), to "improve the quality of life for colorectal cancer patients and their families by increasing access to high-quality content, digital services and community support."
    Belong developed a free, AI-powered app that provides people with cancer and their families an effective, up-to-date channel and "a unique and innovative personalized solution to help manage and fight cancer more effectively."
In 2017, according to the innovation website Israel21C, an Israeli researcher, Prof. Uri Nir of Bar-Ilan University, devised a synthetic compound to disable the enzymes that allow cancer cells to metastasize.

In 2016, according to the Times of Israel:
"A breakthrough cancer study [at the University of Pennsylvania], in which patients suffering from a form of leukemia saw their diseases go into remission after they were treated with genetically modified T-cells has deep roots in Israel.
"One of the first in the world to work on the innovative adaptive immunotherapy technique to treat cancer... was Weizmann University Professor Zelig Eshhar..."
It is perhaps no surprise, then, that breakthroughs in cancer detection and treatment, such as those above -- a mere fraction of Israeli innovation in the field of medicine as a whole -- are not mentioned by the leaders and followers of movements aimed at eliminating Israel. To highlight Israel's contribution to the global efforts to eradicate cancer -- which killed 9.6 million people in 2018, a year in which 17 million new cases were diagnosed -- such movements would have two choices: forego life-saving technology and treatments, or be deemed hypocritical for ignoring their own boycotts.

Some of Israel's adversaries claim that their efforts to demonize Israel are part of a legitimate campaign on behalf of the Palestinian people. Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas and the leaders of Hamas, the terrorist organization that rules the Gaza Strip, warmly welcome these campaigns, whose actual objective, according to the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center,
"is to label Israel as an 'apartheid' country and promote an international boycott of its institutions, leaders, economy and culture, and of Israel's supporters. Its final goal is to cause Israel to collapse, as the apartheid regime in South Africa collapsed. The campaign's organizers oppose any recognition of the State of Israel or negotiations with it, reject the two-state solution, emphasize the so-called 'right of return' of the millions of Palestinian refugees to the territory of the State of Israel and seek to realize the vision of one state ruled by Palestinians."
What Abbas's Fatah faction and Hamas -- both of which glorify terrorism against innocent Israelis and call for international sanctions against the state of Israel -- keep neatly under wraps, however, is the frequency with which they themselves have turned to Israel for medical care, often for cancer treatments.

In 2016, for instance, Abbas' Qatar-based brother, Abu Lawi, was treated for cancer at the Assuta Medical Center in Tel Aviv, and not for the first time.

In 2015, Abbas' brother-in-law received life-saving heart surgery at that same hospital. Abbas' wife, Amina, underwent surgery there in 2014.

In 2014, as well, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh's mother-in-law was treated for cancer at Jerusalem's Augusta Victoria Hospital. That same year, Haniyeh's daughter was treated at Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv. She was among the more than 1,000 residents of Gaza and the Palestinian Authority treated at Ichilov every year.

Also in 2014, Hamas spokesman Moussa Abu Marzouk's sister was treated for cancer at an Israeli hospital.

In 2013, Haniyeh's baby granddaughter was treated at the Schneider Children's Medical Center in Petah Tikvah.

Most recently, in May 2018, Abbas himself was treated by an Israeli specialist, who joined a foreign team of doctors caring for him in the intensive care unit at a hospital in Ramallah, in the Palestinian Authority.

Israel proudly joined its counterparts around the globe on February 4 to mark World Cancer Day, initiated by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC). It is time for the world to cease and desist in its efforts to demonize Israel, and to admit to its use of and reliance on the innovation and technology for healing that Israel -- turning no one away -- always graciously provides. It would be a welcome change if its adversaries were half as ethical.

Ruthie Blum is the author of "To Hell in a Handbasket: Carter, Obama, and the 'Arab Spring.'"


Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

US aims to cut Iran oil exports by 20% starting in May - Reuters and Israel Hayom Staff

by Reuters and Israel Hayom Staff

Sources say goal is to cut Iranian oil exports to under 1 million barrels per day

The United States aims to cut Iran's crude exports by about 20% to below 1 million barrels per day from May by requiring importing countries to reduce purchases to avoid U.S. sanctions, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

U.S. President Donald Trump eventually aims to halt Iranian oil exports and thereby choke off Tehran's main source of revenue. Washington is pressuring Iran to curtail its nuclear program and stop backing militant proxies across the Middle East.

The United States will likely renew waivers to sanctions for most countries buying Iranian crude, including the biggest buyers China and India, in exchange for pledges to cut combined imports to below 1 million bpd. That would be around 250,000 bpd below Iran's current exports of 1.25 million bpd.

"The goal right now is to reduce Iranian oil exports to under 1 million barrels per day," one of the sources said, adding the Trump administration was concerned that pressing for a complete shutdown of Iran's oil in the short-term would trigger a global oil price spike.

Washington may also deny waivers to some countries that have not bought Iranian crude recently, the sources said.

The U.S. reimposed sanctions in November after pulling out of a 2015 nuclear accord between Iran and six world powers. Those sanctions have already halved Iranian oil exports.

To give time to importers to find alternatives and prevent a jump in oil prices, the U.S. granted Iran's main oil buyers waivers to sanctions on the condition they buy less in the future. The waivers are due for renewal every six months.

"Zeroing out could prove difficult," one of the sources said, adding a price of around $65 a barrel for international benchmark Brent crude was "the high end of Trump's crude price comfort zone."

Brent crude settled at $67.55 a barrel on Wednesday.

Both sources said they were briefed by the Trump administration on the matter but were not authorized to speak publicly about it.

While the latest talks on waivers aimed for a reduction in exports, the sources said the administration remained committed to a complete halt in the future.

Brian Hook, the State Department's special representative on Iran, also said in remarks at an industry conference in Houston on Wednesday that Washington is pursuing its plan to bring Iranian crude exports to zero.

Trump "has made it very clear that we need to have a campaign of maximum economic pressure" on Iran, Hook said, "but he also doesn't want to shock oil markets."

A State Department energy bureau spokesperson declined to comment on new volume targets for importers but said U.S. officials were constantly assessing global oil markets to determine the way forward with Iran sanctions waivers.

"On the numbers part, we'll get an updated assessment as we get closer to the end of the 180-day period," of the first round of waivers that ends in May, the spokesperson said.

Washington in November provided waivers to eight economies that had reduced their purchases of Iranian oil, allowing them to continue buying it without incurring sanctions for six more months. They were China and India, along with Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, Italy and Greece.

All eight are in bilateral talks about the waivers, sources said.

The administration is considering denying extension requests made by Italy, Greece and Taiwan – in part because they have not made full use of their waivers so far, one of the sources said.

Greece and Italy were not buying any Iranian oil, Iran's oil minister Bijan Zanganeh was quoted as saying in February.

It is unclear whether the administration will be able to convince China, India and Turkey – all of whom depend heavily on Iranian oil and have criticized the U.S. sanctions on Iran – to reduce imports.

"India, China and Turkey – the three tough cases – will continue to negotiate with the administration and are likely to keep their waivers," one of the sources said.

Washington is pressuring allies Japan and South Korea to reduce purchases of Iranian crude, the source said.

The administration would likely struggle to cut Iran's exports much below 1 million bpd due mainly to strong demand from China, India and Turkey, said Amos Hochstein, who was in charge of Iran sanctions as the top U.S. energy diplomat under former President Barack Obama.

"Looking at the market right now it seems reasonable that Iranian exports will remain at the 800,000 to 1.1 million bpd average," said Hochstein, who talks with energy ministers from big oil consumers.

He said he expects China and India purchases alone to account for around 800,000 to 900,000 bpd.

Reuters and Israel Hayom Staff


Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

Satellite images show likely military installation in Syria - JNS and Israel Hayom Staff

by JNS and Israel Hayom Staff

A military installation near the Lebanese-Syrian border is being utilized to produce precision surface-to-surface missiles, likely with Iranian backing 

A satellite image of a military installation near the Syria-Lebanon border that might be producing precision missiles, published by ImageSat International on Wednesday Photo: ImageSat International 

A military installation near the Lebanese-Syrian border is being utilized to produce precision surface-to-surface missiles, likely with Iranian backing, according to an intelligence report published on Wednesday by ImageSat International.

The firm mentioned that neither warheads nor missile engines are being manufactured at the compound in the northwestern Syrian city of Safita, which is almost five miles from the border with Lebanon.

"According to the company, the type of construction, the location of the compound and evidence of activity at the site and its environs increase the probability that at issue is a missile manufacturing plant," reported Haaretz.

"ISI added, however, that there is no way to confirm this assessment due to suspicions that it's an Iranian site."

The firm added that there has been increased vehicular activity to the compound in recent months, in addition to a new water tower constructed there.

JNS and Israel Hayom Staff


Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

Peace with the Arab States and the Palestinians Must be Delinked - Prof. Hillel Frisch

by Prof. Hillel Frisch

As the Oslo Accords proved, peace is not made on the White House lawn but in Ramallah, Jerusalem, and Gaza. 

BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,111, March 13, 2019

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: US officials and envoys dangle the prospect of peace with Arab states in front of Israel as bait to encourage it to make painful concessions on the Palestinian issue. It would be a grave strategic mistake for Israel to fall for this gambit. As the Oslo Accords proved, peace is not made on the White House lawn but in Ramallah, Jerusalem, and Gaza.  

President Donald Trump, PM Benjamin Netanyahu, and numerous US officials have all warned that both sides of the forthcoming “agreement of the century” are going to be asked to make painful concessions.

To reduce resistance to those concessions on the Israeli side, US officials and envoys like Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt are offering Israel the prospect of peace with Arab states as bait. This idea has numerous supporters among Israeli politicians, think tanks, and academics who invoke the Arab Peace Plan of 2002 as the basis for such a solution.

However, linking the Palestinian issue to peace with Arab states would be a grave strategic mistake for Israel. Simply put, the rewards of making peace beyond the two Arab states with which Israel already has a peace treaty – Egypt and Jordan – are too paltry to warrant linkage to the complex and important Palestinian issue.

This holds true whether one considers the danger of a binational state to be a mortal danger to Israel (the position defining much of Israel’s center and center left) or see annexation of major parts of the West Bank as Israel’s best option (the position held by much of the right).

Why is the prospect of peace with other Arab states an insufficient sweetener? Primarily because of the radical decline in power and influence of those states over the past forty years – a process that seems to be accelerating in recent years.

The logic that lies at the basis of Trump’s thinking is the idea that the Arab states would have sufficient influence over the Palestinians to ensure that any deal they accept will not be characterized by irredentist drives in the future – for example, directed towards Israel’s Arab citizens – in the quest to further carve up Israel in the Palestinians’ favor.

This premise is false, as history clearly shows. Consider the Arab Plan itself. The plan was drawn up by the Saudis, undoubtedly the Arab state with the most financial clout. It was publicized over 16 years ago. Yet it has had no influence whatsoever on Israeli-Palestinian or Israeli-Arab relations since then.

The plan was irrelevant to the continuation of the so-called “al-Aqsa Intifada,” which was only defeated in the West Bank by military assertiveness. The lack of such assertiveness in Gaza yielded three major bouts of confrontation there between Israel and Hamas.

Nor did the will behind the plan prevent the inter-Palestinian partition between a Hamas-dominated Gaza and Abbas’s Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, which has rendered peacemaking complicated if not impossible.

Certainly the Arab states had no influence over the other war waged between Israel and an Arab adversary – Hezbollah, a proxy of Iran. Though some of those states intimated that they were on the side of the Israelis, their intimations had no effect in terms of either intensifying the war (which states like Saudi Arabia might have desired in the hope of decisively defeating an Iranian proxy) or bringing it to an end.

The Arab states’ lack of clout with the Palestinians is not the only reason for doubt.  Their inability to act collectively must also be considered. In the 74 years since the emergence of the Arab League, little has occurred to suggest that the Arab states will unify effectively on the matter of Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking.

The only example of near unity was in 1973, and it concerned making war with Israel, not making peace – as the temporary isolation of Egypt after it signed a peace agreement with Israel in 1979 proves. Unity also prevails in the verbal belligerency these states express towards Israel at the UN and in other international fora.

There is every reason to believe Arab disunity will continue to feed both Israeli-Palestinian and inter-Palestinian tensions, even if the peace treaty is signed. Three Arab states are obvious candidates to play the role of spoiler – Syria, as Iran’s proxy; Lebanon, forever on the verge of becoming one; and Iraq, which the US is trying to keep from sliding into the Iranian orbit. Iran and its proxies will have a strong vested interest in undermining the agreement.

Close at their heels are Qatar and Turkey – not an Arab state, but a political actor with clout in the Arab world.

Even relations among more Israel-friendly Arab states can exacerbate tensions in the Israeli-Palestinian relationship, as they have in the past. There is no assurance that Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia will see eye to eye on many aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian peace.

All these tensions will all too readily be absorbed in a local setting characterized by the hard and fast division between a Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood- dominated Gaza and a nationalist PA.

Rest assured that immediately after the signing of the agreement on the White House lawn, Hamas will launch rockets, incendiary balloons, and thousands of demonstrators and terrorists at the fence to assert its claim to all of Palestine. They will go back to the playbook of over 25 years ago, when Hamas and Islamic Jihad sent their terrorists into action after the signing of the Declaration of Principles.

That comparison proves, in fact, just how weak is the bait of Arab regional support. The Palestinian spoilers pulled off their destructive feats at the height of US hegemony. It was soon after the demise of the Soviet Union, and the American military triumph of defeating Iraq – a blitzkrieg on a par with Germany’s onslaught on Poland and Israel’s victory in the Six-Day War – was still fresh.

Today, Trump – like his predecessor Obama – is signaling an American retreat from the Middle East. Under such circumstances, local spoilers, supported by their regional sponsor, Iran, will certainly be willing to play the same role they did over a quarter century ago.

As Prof. Benny Miller observed, cold war and cold peace are made with the help of international powers. Warm peace and hot war are made exclusively by the locals.

One thing is for sure: peace will not be made on the White House lawn, but in Ramallah, Jerusalem, and Gaza. Anything else is wishful thinking.

This is an edited version of an article published by the Jerusalem Post on March 12, 2019.

Prof. Hillel Frisch is a professor of political studies and Middle East studies at Bar-Ilan University and a senior research associate at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies.


Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

Global Cooling: The Real Climate Threat - Vijay Jayaraj

by Vijay Jayaraj

Global cooling could cripple a world obsessed with warming.

Climate alarmists constantly warn us that man-made global warming is making our world less habitable and that climate doomsday is fast approaching. But a closer look at our climate reveals a surprising climate discovery that our mainstream media have conveniently ignored for decades: the role of the sun in determining Earth's climate.

For the first time in humanity's history, our leaders could be actively devising policies — based on their defiant and biased obsession with global warming — that will render us highly vulnerable to even the slightest cooling in our climatic system.

"We are causing irreversible damage to our environment," "We are headed for a climate doomsday due to excessive warming," "Climate change may wipe out humanity" — these are our everyday news headlines.

As a climate scientist, I find these headlines, and the stories they introduce, vague and full of hasty generalizations. The repeated, one-dimensional doomsday cry about carbon dioxide's role in global temperature blinds the public to other causes.

CO2 is just one of many factors that influence global temperatures. Its role in recent warming is far from dominant. Indeed, there is poor correlation between CO2 emissions and global temperature. Between 2000 and 2018, global temperature showed no significant increase despite a steep increase in carbon dioxide emissions from anthropogenic sources. The same was the case between the years 1940 and 1970. When carbon dioxide concentration increases at a constant and steady rate and temperature doesn't follow the pattern, we can be certain that carbon dioxide is not the primary driver of global temperature.

If not CO2, what?

Life on Earth is possible because of Earth's perfect positioning in the solar system: not too close to the sun and not too far. For centuries, academicians have acknowledged this, and climate scientists today know that the sun is biggest influencer and driver of global temperature.

NASA's page on solar influence clearly states that changes in the sun largely determine Earth's atmospheric and surface temperatures. Astrophysicists and climatologists measure these changes in the sun in terms of quantifiable phenomena such as sunspot activity and solar cycles.

However, in recent times, NASA has succumbed to pressure from climate doomsday proponents. NASA's original page on the sun's impact on our climate system is now hidden from the public domain.

With the advent of dangerous man-made global warming theory, CO2 has taken the limelight, and the sun has been relegated to a mere spectator.

This could be warming-obsessed alarmists' biggest mistake ever.

In central Europe, for example, temperature changes since 1990 coincided more with the changes in solar activity than with atmospheric CO2 concentration. The same has been true globally, and across centuries.

The Maunder Minimum (1645–1715) and Dalton Minimum (1790–1830) — periods of low solar activity — were responsible for the coldest periods of the Little Ice Age. England's River Thames froze. Whole civilizations collapsed as people starved because cold-induced poor harvests led to malnutrition that made people too weak to resist disease. Likewise, increased solar activity in the Roman Warm Period (~250 B.C. to A.D. 400) and Medieval Warm Period (~A.D. 950–1250) brought warmer temperatures on Earth, and thriving crops led to greater nutrition and lower mortality rates.

Hundreds of peer-reviewed scientific papers affirm the overwhelming impact of solar activity on Earth's temperature.

But will there be a cooling?

Observations of sunspot activity at the Space Weather Prediction Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) indicate that there has been a lull in solar activity during the past 18 years — the same period during which there has been no significant warming, confirming a direct correlation between solar activity and global average temperature.

Some climate scientists say another major cooling is likely soon. Their claims are not outlandish.

Evidence for the lull in solar activity is so clear that even NASA admits the cooling trend. Martin Mlynczak of NASA's Langley Research Center commented, "We see a cooling trend[.] ... High above Earth's surface, near the edge of space, our atmosphere is losing heat energy. If current trends continue, it could soon set a Space Age record for cold."

Most recent scientific studies on solar cycles suggest that the next solar cycles (25 and 26) could be similar to the Maunder and Dalton minima that plunged much of the world into disastrous cold.

An article in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Astrophysics and Space Science last month warns that the solar minimum might already have begun. Its authors also say there is a high possibility that it will be even colder than those of the Little Ice Age.

That is disturbing news.

Most of our current efforts — including the choice of our renewable energy technologies and our anti–fossil fuel developmental policies — are incompatible with fighting off the impacts of severe cold weather (localized and short-term), let alone long-lasting and global cooling like what happened with the solar minima of the Little Ice Age.

In the event of global cooling, people all over the world — the poor, especially — will be vulnerable. Our vulnerability will be largely because of global warming alarmists' neglect of climate reality and the power-hungry climate agenda currently dominating national and international politics.

Vijay Jayaraj (M.Sc., Environmental Science, University of East Anglia, England), contributor to the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, lives in Chennai, India.


Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter

Our Planet Is Not Fragile - Walter Williams

by Walter Williams

Malicious progressive indoctrination from kindergarten to higher ed.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez claims that "the world is going to end in 12 years if we don't address climate change." The people at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change agree, saying that to avoid some of the most devastating impacts of climate change, the world must slash carbon emissions by 45 percent by 2030 and completely decarbonize by 2050.

Such dire warnings are not new. In 1970, Harvard University biology professor George Wald, a Nobel laureate, predicted, "Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind." Also in 1970, Paul Ehrlich, a Stanford University biologist, predicted in an article for The Progressive, "The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years." The year before, he had warned, "If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000." Despite such harebrained predictions, Ehrlich has won no fewer than 16 awards, including the 1990 Crafoord Prize, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences' highest award.

Leftists constantly preach such nonsense as "The world that we live in is beautiful but fragile." "The 3rd rock from the sun is a fragile oasis." "Remember that Earth needs to be saved every single day." These and many other statements, along with apocalyptic predictions, are stock in trade for environmentalists. Worse yet, this fragile-earth indoctrination is fed to the nation's youth from kindergarten through college. That's why many millennials support Rep. Ocasio-Cortez.

Let's examine just a few cataclysmic events that exceed any destructive power of mankind and then ask how our purportedly fragile planet could survive. The 1883 eruption of the Krakatoa volcano, in present-day Indonesia, had the force of 200 megatons of TNT. That's the equivalent of 13,300 15-kiloton atomic bombs, the kind that destroyed Hiroshima in World War II. Before that was the 1815 Tambora eruption, the largest known volcanic eruption. It spewed so much debris into the atmosphere that 1816 became known as the "Year Without a Summer." It led to crop failures and livestock death in the Northern Hemisphere, producing the worst famine of the 19th century. The A.D. 535 Krakatoa eruption had such force that it blotted out much of the light and heat of the sun for 18 months and is said to have led to the Dark Ages. Geophysicists estimate that just three volcanic eruptions — Indonesia (1883), Alaska (1912) and Iceland (1947) — spewed more carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere than all of mankind's activities during our entire history.

Our so-called fragile earth survived other catastrophic events, such as the floods in China in 1887, which took an estimated 1 million to 2 million lives, followed by floods there in 1931, which took an estimated 1 million to 4 million lives. What about the impact of earthquakes on our fragile earth? Chile's 1960 Valdivia earthquake was 9.5 on the Richter scale. It created a force equivalent to 1,000 atomic bombs going off at the same time. The deadly 1556 earthquake in China's Shaanxi province devastated an area of 520 miles.

Our so-called fragile earth faces outer space terror. Two billion years ago, an asteroid hit earth, creating the Vredefort crater in South Africa, which has a diameter of 190 miles. In Ontario, there's the Sudbury Basin, resulting from a meteor strike 1.8 billion years ago. At 39 miles long, 19 miles wide and 9 miles deep, it's the second-largest impact structure on earth. Virginia's Chesapeake Bay crater is a bit smaller, about 53 miles wide. Then there's the famous but puny Meteor Crater in Arizona, which is not even a mile wide.

My question is: Which of these powers of nature could be duplicated by mankind? For example, could mankind even come close to duplicating the polluting effects of the 1815 Tambora volcanic eruption? It is the height of arrogance to think that mankind can make significant parametric changes in the earth or can match nature's destructive forces. Our planet is not fragile.

Occasionally, environmentalists spill the beans and reveal their true agenda. Barry Commoner said, "Capitalism is the earth's number one enemy." Amherst College professor Leo Marx said, "On ecological grounds, the case for world government is beyond argument."

Walter Williams


Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter