Thursday, November 27, 2014

Lebanese Armed Forces exposes a politically isolated and militarily weary Hezbollah

From Middle East Institute, 25 Nov 2014, by Basem Shabb:

In the past, the Lebanese Armed Forces’ (LAF) inability to confront or deter Israel was reflected as political weakness for the Lebanese government vis-√†-vis Hezbollah. Israel's withdrawal from south Lebanon in 2000 heralded a growing political role for Hezbollah. This role was further enhanced by the 2006 war with Israel, with Hezbollah claiming victory and consolidating its influence within the LAF and the government. Neither Security Council Resolutions 1559 and 1701, which mandated the disarmament of Hezbollah, nor Western support for March 14 forces could reverse the rising tide of the group, which had forged an alliance with General Michel Aoun, thereby securing credible Christian support. Even a sizeable faction of the Sunnis was sympathetic to Hezbollah due to its role as a deterrent force against Israel. The Palestinians, the second best armed faction after Hezbollah, were close allies. As such, the Lebanese government could not do much to confront Hezbollah. In May 2008, the group, in response to a government decision to dismantle its land-based communications network, took over Beirut while the LAF stood by. Hezbollah's military and political dominance was complete.

Hezbollah today

The Syrian crisis is changing all that. Quietly over the past few years, the LAF has been developing a credible force, with U.S. assistance. The training and materials geared toward counterterrorism, internal security, and border control were not seen by Hezbollah as a threat to its military arsenal of rockets and long range missiles. As it turns out, the LAF was better prepared for the Syrian crisis and its spillover into Lebanon. The elite units of the LAF, notably the rangers, commandos, and navy seals, were specifically trained in urban warfare and in confronting irregular forces and counterinsurgency. U.S. military equipment, while not relevant in a context of confrontation with Israel, is well suited to countering irregular forces and border control. A modest but credible helicopter force provides mobility. More importantly, the delivery of Cessna aircraft gave the LAF advanced surveillance and reconnaissance abilities as well as pinpoint firepower with Hellfire missiles. More conventional weapons such as M198 Howitzers as well as M-60A3 and M48A5 tanks offer accurate and continuous firepower.

On the other hand, Hezbollah's involvement in Syria exposed its lack of direct firepower as well as its inadequate surveillance for guerilla-style warfare in which it is on the receiving end. The conflict now involved jihadis with light weapons and mobile anti-tank missiles facing Hezbollah fighters with similar weapons. In a sense, Hezbollah had prepared for the wrong war. Long range missiles and short range Katyusha rockets designed for a war against Israel were now of little use. Chinese anti-ship missiles as well as concealed anti-tank and short range missiles in south Lebanon facing Israel seemed of little military value when the real threat to Hezbollah came from across the long and ragged border with Syria. Hezbollah did not anticipate this and was ill prepared for irregular warfare and border control. It has resorted to erecting fixed positions not unlike what the Israelis erected in south Lebanon.

The battles by the Syrian Army and Hezbollah 18 months ago to control the Damascus-Homs highway drove several thousand Jabhat al-Nusra fighters into the Qalamoun plateau, an area roughly 60 by 20 kilometers straddling Lebanon and Syria. Isolated from Syria, the town of Arsal in Lebanon was the logistical base supplying the insurgents. On August 2 in a surprise attack, Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State struck the LAF in Arsal. Though 36 military personnel were taken hostage, the LAF quickly repulsed the attack, putting to good use its Hellfire-armed Cessna with a ground counteroffensive. The insurgents suffered an estimated 150 to 200 casualties.

Having given up on Arsal, the Syrian insurgents most recently attacked ten Hezbollah positions. The attack on one position, Nabi Sbat in Lebanon, was seen in a video that showed the position being stormed and the bodies of several Hezbollah fighters. A booty consisting of TOW missiles (probably of the Iranian type) was also shown. It is rumored that out of 60 or so Hezbollah fighters, many fled. On the Syrian side of Qalamoun in Asal al-Ward, several Hezbollah fighters were reportedly taken prisoner, among them an 18-year-old who was shown on YouTube pleading for his life. Hassan Nasrallah had to appear in military fatigues in east Lebanon to shore up the morale of Shi‘i towns and fighters.

The Syrian conflict has been detrimental to Hezbollah's political standing as well. In addition to antagonizing the Sunni Lebanese and Palestinians, Hezbollah’s involvement inflamed sectarian tensions. Despite a few Sunni defections, the LAF shows little signs of fracturing though Sunnis constitute almost half of the forces. In a recent bold move, the LAF took control of Tripoli, the second largest and predominantly Sunni city in north Lebanon with a sizeable Alawi community. Tripoli had been a hotbed of Sunni radicalism and had seen violent clashes between Sunni radicals and Alawi fighters supported by Hezbollah. The LAF move was endorsed by all Lebanese leaders, including those from the Sunni community.

Thus, despite sectarian tensions the LAF has overwhelming popular support in countering extremism and terrorism. In contrast, Hezbollah has lost ground politically and is overstretched militarily.

The political void Hezbollah has left behind is gradually being replaced by a more assertive LAF. 

LAF monitoring towers are being erected in sensitive areas along the Lebanese-Syrian border, to which Hezbollah would not have acquiesced three years ago. An offer by Iran to supply the LAF with ammunition and light weapons, which would endanger U.S. support, was politely rejected by the Lebanese government. A Saudi gift of $3 billion will further boost the capabilities of the LAF.

The most immediate danger to Lebanon is not from an ISIS incursion from Syria, but would be from a fracturing of the LAF due to sectarian tensions. By remaining a united, effective force with widespread popular support, the LAF has thus far helped Lebanon weather the sectarian storm. As the dust settles on a politically isolated and militarily weary Hezbollah, only a strong LAF can ensure a smooth transition to sovereignty and normalcy.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

West Ready to Cave on Iran Full Disclosure Demands

From The Tower, 22 Nov 2014:

[Photo: PersianMedia / YouTube]

The Western nations currently negotiating with Iran over the fate of the country’s illicit nuclear program will “likely stop short of demanding full disclosure of any secret weapon work by Tehran,” according to a report in Reuters:
Officially, the United States and its Western allies say it is vital that Iran fully addresses the concerns of the U.N. nuclear agency if it wants a diplomatic settlement that would end sanctions severely hurting its oil-based economy. 
“Iran’s previous activities have to come to light and be explained,” a senior Western diplomat said. 
Privately, however, some officials acknowledge that Iran would probably never admit to what they believe it was guilty of: covertly working in the past to develop the means and expertise needed to build a nuclear-armed missile.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN’s nuclear watchdog, has long demanded that Iran come clean about the possible military dimensions (PMD) of Iran’s nuclear program. Iran has consistently stonewalled IAEA investigations into this matter; earlier this week, IAEA director-general Yukiya Amano stated that “Iran has not provided any explanations that enable the agency to clarify” the issue.

Reuters continued, quoting a flabbergasted Western official:
“I believe the PMD issue is not a deal-breaker even though it probably should be,” another Western official said. The official added that many inside the IAEA and Western governments shared concerns about the deadlocked investigation and felt uneasy about compromising on the issue.
UN Security Council Resolution 1929, passed in 2010 with the approval of all parties currently negotiating with Iran, called on the Islamic Republic to “cooperate fully with the IAEA on all outstanding issues, particularly those which give rise to concerns about the possible military dimensions of the Iranian nuclear programme, including by providing access without delay to all sites, equipment, persons and documents requested by the IAEA.”

If the Reuters report is true, it reflects a change in the Obama Administration’s longstanding demand that Iran fully disclose its PMD. As Barack Obama said in September 2009, “Iran is on notice that when we meet with them on Oct. 1, they are going to have to come clean.” During confirmation hearings to be appointed Secretary of State in 2013, John Kerry, who is currently negotiating with the Iranians in Vienna, said that “The president has made it definitive” that Iran needs to answer all “questions surrounding Iran’s nuclear program.”

A senior Western official told Reuters that they are working at “being creative” at resolving this issue.

BDS is racist, in more ways than one...

From the UK Telegraph, 20 Nov 2014, by Alan Johnson:

...[An] anti-Zionist ideology (a system of demonising ideas and representations about Israel and the Jews) now exercises [a profound influence] in our culture. 

At the heart of the ideology is a deeply buried, often unconscious, assumption about the dichotomous natures of Israelis and Palestinians that warps our understanding of the conflict...:
Palestinians (and Arabs in general) do not have agency and choice, and so cannot be held accountable and responsible. Israelis do and can; always, and exclusively. 
Palestinians are understood as a driven people, dominated by circumstance and emotion, lacking choice, below the age of responsibility, never to be held accountable. Israelis are the opposite; masters of all circumstances, rational and calculating, the root cause of everything, responsible for everything. 
It is, palpably, an Orientalist view of the Palestinians as the Other, except this time they are affirmed as noble savages. It’s a bit racist, to be honest. For example, the Liberal Democrat David Ward MP tweeted that the Palestinian synagogue terrorists had been "driven to madness" - which not only removes agency from them but also sanity.

This groupthink is the reason that parts of the media are reluctant to challenge the Palestinian national movement when it is guilty of rejectionism, terrorism, authoritarianism, corruption and the promotion of a vile culture of incitement, demonization and antisemitism.

After all, those things are just not the "the Israel story", are they? As Matt Seaton, comment editor at the New York Times, tweeted recently, his opinion pages will only cover Palestinian racism when “they have [a] sovereign state to discriminate with.”

The world view is being spread by ...public intellectuals. They are shaping much of the debate about the conflict in Britain because their ideas are not remaining in the seminar room but are being 'translated' and popularised by determined activists with status and authority in universities, churches, trade unions, NGOs, political parties and popular culture.

• Academic and writer Jacqueline Rose says Israel is “the agent” that is responsible for Palestinian suicide terrorism. She uncritically passes on to her readers a defence of the suicide bomber given by Hamas leader Abdul Aziz al-Ratansi (“If he wants to sacrifice his soul in order to defeat the enemy and for God’s sake – well, then he’s a martyr”).

• The Israeli novelist (and Peace Now founder) Amos Oz complains that incitement by extremist Palestinian intellectuals leads some Palestinians to be “suffocated and poisoned by blind hate.” The anti-Zionist writer Yitzhak Laor is outraged, denouncing Oz for… “incitement” against the Palestinians.

• Shlomo Sand - whose books are found in Waterstones stores across the UK –expresses his disgust at Jewish Israeli intellectuals who opposed Saddam Hussein during the first Gulf War. Now, Saddam was firing scud missiles at Israeli civilians at the time, so how did he justify his stance? Palestinians felt “joy” at an ““Arab” show of force”, he wrote, and that should have been decisive. 

• Ilan Pappe’s recent book The Idea of Israel (Summary: it was a very Bad Idea and should now be Corrected) offers an apologia for the pro-Nazi war-time Palestinian leader Al-Husseini. So keen was Al-Husseini on Adolf that he formed a Muslim SS Unit, but Pappe reduces all this to “an episode” in the “complex” life of a nationalist; a “foolish flirtation” that should only be of interest to the reader because it has been exploited by Zionists to “demonise” the Palestinians. Pappe argues that Al-Husseini was – here it comes! - “forced” into the alliance with Hitler. 

The idea that good/innocent/authentic Palestinians are in a Manichean struggle against bad/guilty/inauthentic Israelis is part of a mind-set - a "theory" of sorts - that became dominant on much of the Left after the 1960s. Let’s call it reactionary anti-imperialism. It divides the world, and everything in it, into two opposed “camps”: Imperialism versus Anti-Imperialism. 

Anyone shooting at Imperialism (the USA, the UK, Israel, "the West", "the Global North", or just "the Man") is now part of the progressive anti-imperialist “resistance” to imperialism. Once in thrall to this ‘theory’, parts of the left redefined themselves as (not very) critical supporters of, or at least apologists for, the reactionary forces doing the shooting, including radical Islamists. 

Here is the Socialist Workers Party theoretician John Molyneux instructing the members in the finer points of reactionary anti-imperialism: 
"To put the matter as starkly as possible: from the standpoint of Marxism and international socialism an illiterate conservative superstitious Muslim Palestinian peasant who supports Hamas is more progressive than an educated liberal atheist Israeli who supports Zionism (even critically)." 
And here is Judith Butler - a professor at Berkeley a...drawing the political conclusions: 
“[Hamas and Hezbollah are] social movements that are progressive, that are on the Left, that are part of a global Left.” 
(See 16:24 in this video.) 

...anti-Zionist ideology, the ludicrously simplistic assumptions it makes about Palestinians and Israelis, and the demonising/exculpatory framework through which it distorts our understanding of the conflict, is now bleeding from the cloisters of academia into those wider structures of feeling and patterns of response that shape our public square.... 

Turkey roast

From Times of Israel, November 21, 2014, bAvi Issacharoff:

Israel has arrested dozens of members of a Hamas terror network operating throughout the West Bank in recent weeks who were planning a series of attacks against Israeli targets, senior Palestinian officials told The Times of Israel. The network...was funded and directed by Hamas officials in Turkey who have set up a de facto command center in the Muslim country.

The network was similar in its operational characteristics to one uncovered in August during the war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip, the officials said Thursday night, adding that according to information received from Israel, this terror ring was even larger. Its operatives had already attempted several attacks against Israel, they added, but they had all failed.

As with the previous network, the man behind the terrorist grouping was Saleh al-Arouri, a Hamas leader who was deported from the West Bank to Turkey in 2010, the sources said.
Arouri, they said, built up and funded the network, and has effectively established a Hamas command post in Turkey which is leading terror efforts in the West Bank. Arouri is reportedly aided by dozens of operatives, some of whom were deported by Israel in the wake of the Gilad Shalit prisoner deal in 2011.

Hamas operative Saleh al-Arouri (photo credit: YouTube screenshot)
Hamas operative Saleh al-Arouri 
(photo credit: YouTube screenshot)

The officials accused Turkey as well as Qatar — the current home of Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal — of enabling Hamas to operate freely within their territories to carry out attacks against Israel and undermine the Palestinian Authority.

In August, Israel’s Shin Bet security service said it had arrested over 90 operatives and thwarted a Hamas coup attempt in the West Bank aimed at toppling PA President Mahmoud Abbas and starting a third intifada uprising.

The Palestinian sources, however, maintained Thursday that the two networks were more concerned with carrying out attacks against Israeli military and settler targets in the West Bank. A rough Israeli response and the consequent weakening of the PA was a secondary objective, they said.
The officials added that several Hamas operatives connected to the recently uncovered network were also being held in PA detention facilities.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman speaking at a meeting in the Knesset to discuss Operation Protective Edge, on August 4, 2014. (photo credit: Flash90)
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman speaking at a meeting in the Knesset to discuss Operation Protective Edge, on August 4, 2014. (photo credit: Flash90)

On Thursday the Shin Bet said it foiled a Palestinian plan to assassinate Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman during the summer war. A group of Hamas members from near Bethlehem in the West Bank planned to purchase a rocket-propelled grenade, which would be shot at Liberman, who lives in an Israeli settlement in the area.

The group gathered intelligence on Liberman’s convoy to carry out the attack, according to the Shin Bet, and turned to Hamas officials in the area for help in acquiring the RPG. Israeli officials said they also uncovered during the interrogations Hamas plans to fire weapons and carry out hit-and-run attacks against settlers and Israeli troops in the area....

See also 

Erdogan: Israeli Attack on Al-Aqsa Is Attack on Turkey (Zaman-Turkey)
Speaking in Algeria on Wednesday, Turkish President Erdogan said, "Israel's barbaric attack on the Al-Aqsa Mosque is tantamount to an attack on Turkey and Algeria because Al-Aqsa Mosque belongs to all of us."

Turkey had previously called on other Muslim countries to display a joint position to protest the actions of Israel.

Israel: Erdogan Rhetoric Befits Tehran or Damascus, Not a NATO Capital - Herb Keinon (Jerusalem Post)
Responding to Turkish President Erdogan's remarks, one government official said that Israel has been facing "a malicious campaign of slander concerning a so-called threat to Al-Aqsa. This campaign has been led by Islamist extremists who claim there is a Jewish threat to Al-Aqsa. This is baseless and ridiculous, it is slander that has no relationship to the truth whatsoever."

"Ultimately this sort of extremist and malicious rhetoric is what one expects to hear from Tehran and Damascus, not from a NATO capital."

No choice but war?

From JPost, 22 Nov 2014, by Michael Wilner:
Israel Air Force planes fly over Tel Aviv.

WASHINGTON – Historic negotiations with Iran will reach an inflection point on Monday, as world powers seek to clinch a comprehensive deal that will, to their satisfaction, end concerns over the nature of its vast, decade-old nuclear program.

... Israel has issued a stark, public warning to its allies with a clear argument: Current proposals guarantee the perpetuation of a crisis, backing Israel into a corner from which military force against Iran provides the only logical exit.

The deal on the table
World powers have presented Iran with an accord that would restrict its nuclear program for ten years and cap its ability to produce fissile material for a weapon during that time to a minimum nine-month period.

Should Tehran agree, the deal may rely on Russia to convert Iran's current uranium stockpile into fuel rods for peaceful use. The proposal would also include an inspection regime that would attempt to follow the program's entire supply chain, from the mining of raw material to the syphoning of that material to various nuclear facilities across Iran.

Israel's leaders believe the best of a worst-case scenario, should that deal be reached, is for inspections to go perfectly and for Iran to choose to abide by the deal for the entire decade-long period.

But "our intelligence agencies are not perfect," an Israeli official said. "We did not know for years about Natanz and Qom. And inspection regimes are certainly not perfect. They weren't in the case in North Korea, and it isn't the case now – Iran's been giving the IAEA the run around for years about its past activities."

"What's going to happen with that?" the official continued. "Are they going to sweep that under the rug if there's a deal?"

On Saturday afternoon, reports from Vienna suggested the P5+1 – the US, United Kingdom, France, Russia, China and Germany – are willing to stop short of demanding full disclosure of any secret weapon work by Tehran.

... compounding Israel's fears, the proposal Jerusalem has seen shows that mass dismantlement of Iran's nuclear infrastructure – including the destruction, and not the mere warehousing, of its parts – is no longer on the table in Vienna.

"Iran's not being asked to dismantle the nuclear infrastructure," the Israeli official said, having seen the proposal before the weekend. "Right now what they're talking about is something very different. They're talking about Ayatollah Khamenei allowing the P5+1 to save face."

Officials in the Netanyahu government are satisfied that their ideas and concerns have been given a fair hearing by their American counterparts. They praise the US for granting Israel unprecedented visibility into the process. 

But while those discussions may have affected the talks at the margins, large gaps – on whether to grant Iran the right to enrich uranium, or allow it to keep much of its infrastructure – have remained largely unaddressed.

"It's like the chemical weapons deal in Syria," the official said. "They didn't just say: Here, let's get rid of the stockpile and the weapons, but we will leave all the plants and assembly lines."

'Sunset clause'
Yet, more than any single enforcement standard or cap included in the deal, Israel believes the Achilles' heel of the proposed agreement is its definitive end date – the sunset clause.

"You've not dismantled the infrastructure, you've basically tried to put limits that you think are going to be monitored by inspectors and intelligence," said the official, "and then after this period of time, Iran is basically free to do whatever it wants."

The Obama administration also rejects this claim. By e-mail, the senior US administration official said that, "'following successful implementation of the final step of the comprehensive solution for its duration, the Iranian nuclear program will be treated in the same manner as that of any non-nuclear weapon state party to the NPT – with an emphasis on non-nuclear weapon."

"That has in no way changed," the American official continued, quoting the interim Joint Plan of Action reached last year.

But the treatment of Iran as any other signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty –189 countries are members, including Iran – would allow Tehran to ultimately acquire "an industrial-sized capability," the Israelis say. "The breakout times [to a nuclear weapon] will be effectively zero."

Israel and world powers seek to maximize the amount of time they would have to identify non-compliance from a nuclear deal, should Iran choose to defy its tenets and build a bomb.

But in the deal under discussion in Vienna, Iran would be able to comply with international standards for a decade and, from Israel's perspective, then walk, not sneak, into the nuclear club.

"You've not only created a deal that leaves Iran as a threshold nuclear power today, because they have the capability to break out quickly if they wanted to," the Israeli official contended. "But you've also legitimized Iran as a military nuclear power in the future."

From the moment this deal is clinched, Israel fears it will guarantee Iran as a military nuclear power. There will be no off ramp, because Iran's reentry into the international community will be fixed, a fait accompli, by the very powers trying to contain it.

"The statement that says we've prevented them from having a nuclear weapon is not a true statement," the Israeli official continued. "What you've said is, you're going to put restrictions on Iran for a given number of years, after which there will be no restrictions and no sanctions. That's the deal that's on the table."

Revisiting the use of force
Without an exit ramp, Israel insists its hands will not be tied by an agreement reached this week, this month or next, should it contain a clause that ultimately normalizes Iran's home-grown enrichment program.

...By framing the deal as fundamentally flawed, regardless of its enforcement, Israel is telling the world that it will not wait to see whether inspectors do their jobs as ordered.

"Ten, fifteen years in the life of a politician is a long time," the Israeli said, in a vague swipe against the political directors now scrambling in Vienna. "In the life of a nation, it's nothing."...

Friday, November 21, 2014

Israel Can Prevail

From Arutz Sheva, 20 Nov 20143, by Mordechai Kedar:

Israel can withstand and overcome the current wave of violence, which is just another chapter in the struggle against Arab and Islamist hatred. But to do so, there are concrete steps that Israel should take - now.

During these difficult days of increasing terror, the most urgent question is: What can we do in order to cope optimally with the growing terrorist violence in Israel, knowing that behind the scenes there are several players who are expending intense efforts to bring about an explosion.

Leading the pack is Hamas, whose goal is to become the undisputed leader of the Palestinian Arabs at the expense of the Palestinian Authority – and, for good measure, giving Sisi something to remember.

Supporting Hamas is a coalition composed of Qatar and Turkey, with unlimited sources of funds.

The PLO, at the same time, is trying to hold on to first place and cannot allow itself to appear less extreme than Hamas, for fear it will be accused of cooperating with Israel. This is the origin of the two-faced behavior of the PA: on the one hand, it presents a cooperative face to Israel and on the other hand, it stabs Israel in the back, through incitement and education, on the street and in international forums.

Qatar bases its standing in the Arab world and the West by pouring oil on the fire, exactly as it does with Islamic State. Hypocritically, in the usual Qatari fashion, it funds Islamic state while, as part of the Western coalition, it expresses support for those who fight it.

Behind the scenes of the growing terror Israel faces stands Islamic State, the model for successful battles against the enemies of Islam: massacre the enemy, act with extreme violence and use fast vehicles that give the impression of Jihad's sweeping, advancing victory. The murderers who entered the Jerusalem Synagogue did not bring long butcher's cleavers for nothing.

The answer:
The time for politically correct euphemisms is over and the unpleasant truth must be told as it is.

First of all, Israel must say emphatically: the Palestinian Authority established on the basis of the Oslo Accords is an enemy entity, an enemy whose goal is establishing an Arab state  in place of Israel, not alongside Israel, but on its ruins. That is the reason the Oslo Accords were violated so blatantly and thoroughly by the other side, resulting in them being declared null and void..

In addition, Israel must cease funding the PA on the basis of economic agreements derived from the Oslo Accords. There is no other country that funds an enemy entity, and there is no reason for Israel to be the only country that acts in such a delusional manner.

The government of Israel must condemn those among us who were instrumental in giving us the "New Middle East", even those who once held posts of high honor.

2. Israel must announce as clearly as possible that Jerusalem is not a subject in any negotiations with anyone. It was never the capital of any entity connected to the Arab or Islamic world and was never ruled by a king, sultan, emir or caliph, so that there is no historical or legal basis for demanding that it be the capital of any state other than Israel.

3. Israel has to remind the entire world that Judea, Samaria and Eastern Jerusalem were areas occupied by Jordan for 19 years, from May 1948 until June 1967. Had the Arab world felt it was just and necessary, it could have established a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital then, without anyone in the world disputing it.  The Arabs  refrained from doing that for the 7000 days in which Jordan had control of the area and therefore have no right to demand from Israel what they did not demand from themselves.

5. Israel must immediately shut down all the PA institutions in Jerusalem and any governmental entity that is not that of the state of Israel. Sovereignty cannot be shared or compromised on, because he who compromises with regard to his sovereignty loses it.

6.The police must issue a restraining order against all Islamic Movement activists, first and foremost to Sheikh Raad Salah and his deputy Sheikh Kamal el Khatib.  After that, the possibility of issuing an order forbidding them to leave Um El Fahem and Kafr Kana should be considered.

7. Israel must immediately shut down all the Hamas TV stations broadcasting in Judea and Samaria.

8. Israel must keep the bodies of all dead terrorists who committed terror attacks. To all events, Israel must forbid their burial in Jerusalem, especially not in the vicinity of the Temple Mount, because burial in that spot is an expression of pride in the shahid and  encourages more terror.

9. Israel must announce that it is building a new neighborhood, a new settlement or at least a new building in Jerusalem or Judea and Samaria in memory of every terror victim. Let the terrorists discover that terror makes the Jewish People's connection to its land stronger.

10. Israel must change the way it views Europe. This continent is gradually turning into an Islamist area, and European politicians are becoming more and more dependent on the Muslim voter.They have to take stands dictated to them by the voters in their electoral district, and these brought their visceral hatred of Jews and Israel with them from their countries of origin. I do not see this pattern changing, so that for Israel, relying on Europe is a waste of effort at best and under normal circumstances, like entering hostile territory.

11. Israelis have to internalize the fact that their neighbors do not want them in the Middle East, and that Tel Aviv and Ramat Hasharon as seen as "settlements" just as Eli, Shilo and Neve Daniel are.  The entire Peace industry is just froth topping the waves of the stormy waters of the Middle East. It succeeded in blinding us to the point where we did not accept the reality of the situation and it managed to neutralize the will of some of us to fight for our land and freedom, but it had no absolutely no effect on our neighbors.

12. Israel must develop a psychological mindset that prepares it for a multi-pronged struggle, because many of the countries in the world are against the existence of the state of Israel and will do anything to weaken its security, economic stability and legitimacy.

Israel must publicly condemn people, such as Martyn Indyk, who accept funding from countries like Qatar which uses its money to influence political stands vis a vis Israel.

13. Israel's justice system must internalize the fact that we are struggling for our survival. We cannot relate to enemies of the state as if they are deserving of mercy at the hands of our country's legal system. The legal system was not intended to make the state vulnerable but to base it on law and order so that it can continue to function during difficult times.

14. The people of Israel must trust in G-d and in themselves, they must be prepared to fight for their existence. This struggle is infinitely more important than what the Knesset and the media have been stressing - VAT on purchasing an apartment or any internal political struggle. Ministers and MK's must rise above narrow party considerations and begin to lead the Jewish people in its struggle to keep its land, state and liberty.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Palestinians have long been poorly served by their own leaders and cynically used by the Muslim world

From the Sydney Morning Herald, 20 Nov 2014, by Paul Sheehan:

Pro-Israel protestors demonstrate in New York City following the death of four men who were reportedly killed by two armed Palestinians.
Pro-Israel protestors demonstrate in New York City following the death of four men who were reportedly killed by two armed Palestinians. Photo: Getty Images 

Masked Palestinians hold axes and a gun as they celebrate an attack on the Jerusalem synagogue on November 18.
Masked Palestinians hold axes and a gun as they celebrate an attack on the Jerusalem synagogue on November 18. Photo: Reuters
...On Tuesday, when two cousins from East Jerusalem, Ghassan and Uday Abu Jamal, both members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, armed themselves with knives, axes and at least one gun, they went to the Har Nof district, five kilometres from their homes. Shortly before 7am they began an assault on Orthodox Jews at prayer, killing four, wounding six, then killing a Druze police officer. The two ad hoc terrorists then died in a gunfight with police.

Although this attack appears to have nothing to do with Islamic State, it was the latest in a series of attacks on Jews by Palestinians in Jerusalem in recent weeks, the same blood fever that has led hundreds of young men, and some young women, to travel from throughout the Muslim diaspora to join the butchery of Islamic State.

While the killing in Syria and Iraq has been along the Shia-Sunni schism in the Muslim world, antagonism towards Israel is becoming synonymous with antagonism towards Jews in general. Hence the extraordinarily disproportionate attention paid to Israel, population eight million, compared with the amount of attention devoted to the 22 countries of the Arab League, population 425 million. The attention is broadly comparable.

The mainstreaming of anti-Semitism conflates the success of Israel, the suffering of the Palestinians and Jewish identity. The core basis of hostility to Israel is a lack of acknowledgement that most of the constrictive actions Israel has taken in the Palestinian territories – the walls, roadblocks, security restrictions - has been in reaction to an intransigent Palestinian political culture, a template set in place 45 years ago by the corruption and rejectionism of ...Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat.

After Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005, dismantling all Jewish settlements, control went to Hamas, which then expended enormous resources building a war machine. It constructed a labyrinth of tunnels into Israel, stockpiled thousands of weapons, wired Gaza for war, then fired hundreds of rockets into Israel and used the civilian population as a human shield.

After Israel withdrew from southern Lebanon in 2000, control went to Hezbollah, which turned the southern border into a war machine, a maze of tunnels and gun placements and stockpiles of thousands of rockets, all supplied by Iran, which wants Israel destroyed.

This is why Israel regards calls to withdraw from the West Bank as blithely naive. 

When the western media reports about Israel's continued building of Jewish settlements on the West Bank, it rarely presents Israel's position that no new settlements have been allowed since 1999 and that all construction since 2004 has been within pre-existing settlement boundaries. More than half the construction is in and around Jerusalem on land annexed by Israel after the 1967 war, when three Arab armies sought to obliterate Israel. This annexed territory has never been offered in negotiations for a two-state solution.

Israel's arguments are routinely greeted with eye-rolling cynicism, as if the Israelis are the bullies of the Middle East, rather than the only functional democracy in the region, the only place in the Middle East where Jews can live in safety, including a large ultra-orthodox Jewish community which opposes the state of Israel.

This moral relativism extends to endless rationalisations for the missteps by the Palestinians, the corruption, the internecine conflict, the state-sponsored racism, and the rocket attacks that have maintained a cycle of dysfunction.

The Palestinian cause evokes natural sympathy, but it would be helpful to see a glimmer of recognition that the Palestinians have long been poorly served by their own leaders and cynically used by the Muslim world as a strategic asset, where Palestinian suffering is required for the larger narrative that the world would be a better place if Israel ceased to exist.

Perpetuating Barbarity

From the NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Editorial, Wednesday, November 19, 2014:

A victim of the Jerusalem synagogue terror attack lies wrapped in a prayer shawl and tefillin

The synagogue slaughter of four Israeli rabbis reveals the true nature of Palestinian radicals

Celebrated broadly by Palestinians, the slaughter of four worshippers in a Jerusalem synagogue and the murder of a police officer were the stuff of ISIS nightmares.

The bloodshed was savage. The cheering was obscene. The guilt of Palestinian leaders, including Mahmoud Abbas, calls for the fiercest punishment imaginable.

In this world of elusive justice, Israel has been limited thus far to dispatching the two attackers in a firefight and ordering the demolition of their homes — while awaiting fresh horrors from the poisonous Palestinian tree.

Abbas, the Palestinian Authority president, helped plant its seeds with words of incitement in recent weeks as acts of violence proliferated.

His partners in governing, the terrorists of Hamas, applauded each time as Palestinians living in Israel killed by knife or by plowing into pedestrians by car.

Now, Palestinian believers see how much carnage a pair of men wielding even the primitive weaponry of axes can inflict on defenseless human beings, and not just on human beings but on Jews, and not just on Jews but on Jews who were at prayer, including rabbis.

Global leaders, too many of whom have betrayed Israel, recoiled from the murders.

President Obama condemned an act that in this nation would be a capital crime if not a war crime. But, applying nauseatingly familiar evenhandedness, he called on both the killers and the killed, the Palestinians and the Israelis, “to try to work together to lower tensions and reject violence.”

What violence need Israel reject? Only that which is inflicted upon it.

...when a Palestinian drove his car into pedestrians at a rail stop, killing a 3-month-old baby, Hamas praised the murder as a “natural response to the crimes of the occupation against our people and our holy places” — and an Abbas adviser called the perpetrator a “heroic martyr.”

And after another Palestinian drove into a crowded train platform, killing an Israeli border officer and injuring 13, Hamas claimed responsibility.

A Hamas spokesman heralded this latest massacre as a “heroic and a natural reaction to Zionist criminality.”

According to a Times of Israel report, a television reporter visited the terrorists’ East Jerusalem neighborhood and found nobody who would speak against the attack on camera.

For his part, Abbas mustered only a weak “We condemn the killing of civilians from any side.”

In waging what appears to be a Third Intifada — one perhaps even more insidious than its predecessors — Palestinians may think they are “resisting” Israeli policy by murdering their neighbors.

They are only perpetuating barbarity.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Murdered, Because They Were Jews

From The Toronto Sun, November 18, 2014, by Tarek Fatah*:

Tarek Fatah

Four rabbis in an act of worship, in their house of God, slaughtered in the name of Allah.

And if the savagery of the act was not enough of a shock, one response from a Muslim on Twitter was equally gruesome. Responding to my tweet about the Jerusalem slaughter, he welcomed the mass murder by writing a single word, "Bravo".

Elsewhere on social media, Palestinians in Gaza circulated cartoons using the image of the meat cleaver and knife used in the attacks, to mock the Jews.

As a Muslim who has spoken all my life for the rights of the Palestinians to a state of their own, I was left holding my head in despair and shame.

Just an hour earlier, I had read news of my co-religionists killing four Christians in random acts of revenge in the Kenyan city of Mombasa.

What have we become, I asked myself?

...These were simply men of religion, killed not for what they did, but for who they were — Jews.

...As for the reaction of many Muslims in the West, who woke up to see another atrocity committed in the name of Islam, expect their voices to be channelled through the standard script of many Islamic groups, who will come forward with cliché-ridden denunciations of the act and condemnation of terrorism.

However, few will admit the atrocities we now see every few weeks are part of the Islamic tradition of jihad and intrinsic to the belief of how Jews should be punished if they are engaged in warfare with Muslims.

Few will, or have, renounced the doctrine of armed jihad as inapplicable in the era of nation states and international law.

The biography of Prophet Muhammad, "the Sira" is considered the authentic story of his life and is part of the Islamic faith, together with the Qur'an and Hadith.

According to the Sira, in the year 627CE, after a Jewish tribe surrendered to the Islamic army in the city of Medina, Prophet Muhammad personally beheaded 600 to 800 Jewish adult male prisoners of war, thus laying the template of dealing with Jews caught in battle for all times.

In my book, The Jew is Not My Enemy, my research suggests the story is a creation of later Muslim kings, 200 years after the incident.

These were men who crafted a backdated precedent to justify their own murderous acts.
But my view is almost universally rejected.

If Islamic leaders are unwilling to critically examine and question the authenticity of the texts they hold sacred, they had better be prepared to see the world react with contempt, if not an unpleasant backlash.

*Tarek Fatah is a founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress, a columnist at the Toronto Sun, host of a Sunday afternoon talk show on Toronto's NewsTalk1010 AM Radio, and a Robert J. and Abby B. Levine Fellow at the Middle East Forum. He is the author of two award-winning books: Chasing a Mirage: The Tragic Illusion of an Islamic State and The Jew is Not My Enemy: Unveiling the Myths that Fuel Muslim Anti-Semitism.

Terrorists' Families Celebrate, Pass out Candies in JerusalemFrom Arutz Sheva, 18 Nov 2014

From Arutz Sheva, 18 Nov 2014, by Ari Yashar:

Family of murderers call attack 'normal thing for every man belonging to Islam,' residents promise more attacks; police seal neighborhood.

Palestinians in Gaza celebrate Jerusalem synagogue massacre
Palestinians in Gaza celebrate Jerusalem synagogue massacre
Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash 90

The families of cousins Uday and Rassan Abu Jamal in Jerusalem's Jabel Mukabar celebrated wildly on Tuesday, after learning that the two had murdered four Jews and wounded eight others with hatchets, knives and guns in a synagogue in the Har Nof neighborhood.

[Also see this PMW report: "Murder of 4 Jews praised..."]

"We responded with shouts of joy when we received the news about their deaths," Ala'a Abu Jamal said of his cousins to Yedioth Aharonoth. "People here distributed candies to guests who visited us, and there was joy for the martyrs."

Trying to justify the horrific attack using the situation on the Temple Mount, where Jews are forbidden from praying and Muslim visitors riot on a near daily basis, he continued by calling the attack "a normal thing that can be expected from every man who has courage and a feeling of belonging to his people and to Islam."

"The attack was a surprise for us, we didn't expect that it would occur," claimed Ala'a Abu Jamal. "The two killed (terrorists - ed.) were regular workers and weren't associated with any organization. One of them was married with three children. Thank Allah, someone who dies as a martyr, that's a great thing."

Despite his claims the two were not affiliated to any group, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attack, which was also praised by Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Fatah.

Regarding the wife of the terrorist, Interior Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) announced Tuesday he would immediately act to cancel her permits to be in Jerusalem. The woman, a resident of the Judea and Samaria region, was allowed in as the spouse of an Israeli resident. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu also ordered for the homes of the terrorists to be demolished.

Another resident of Jabel Mukabar told the Hebrew-language site "we are proud of the two martyrs who carried out the attack. ...We have many more youths who have nothing to lose. They are ready to attack Jews, everything for Al-Aqsa Mosque."

The families of the terrorists did not have too long to celebrate with guests however, as Palestinian Arab Ma'an News Agency reports police detained 12 of the relatives. Brief clashes between police and local residents ensued.

Likewise, the site reported that police sealed off the entrance to the neighborhood with cement blocks, in a similar move to that which was recently done to Issawiya following constant violent riots and terror attacks.

Regarding the families of the terrorists, Deputy Minister for Religious Affairs Eli Ben-Dahan (Jewish Home) on Tuesday said that they should be expelled, "even this very day."

The two terrorists held Israeli residency and the privileges entailed by it, and reportedly one of them worked in a grocery store next to the synagogue they attacked.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

A nuclear deal with Iran will join the list of Obama’s hollow Mideast achievements

From The Wall Street Journal, November 12, 2014, by Bret Stephens:
Failure will be a hidden in the detail of any US-Iran nuclear deal  

I AM on record predicting that a nuclear deal with Iran will founder on the opposition of the Islamic Republic’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei.
Iranian diplomats, I wrote in May, “will allow this round of negotiations to fail and bargain instead for an extension of the current interim agreement. It will get the extension and then play for time again. There will never be a final deal”.  
I was vindicated on the first point in July, when US Secretary of State John Kerry purchased a five-month extension for the talks with $US2.8 billion ($3.2bn) in ­direct sanctions relief for Tehran. I’d be willing to make a modest bet that I’ll be vindicated again when the November 24 deadline for a deal expires. 

The latest talks in Oman between Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif seem to have gone nowhere. As former US president Jimmy Carter discovered during the hostage crisis, the mullahs are especially contemptuous towards those they see as weak.

But let’s say I’m wrong. What sort of deal would we likely get?

Above all, it will be a technical deal. Hyper-technical. If you want to master its details, be prepared to know the difference not just between LEU (low-enriched uranium) and HEU (high-enriched), but also between IR1 and the far more efficient IR2 centrifuges. You’ll need to know what a cascade is, and you’ll have to appreciate the importance of footprints when it comes to M&V (monitoring and verification) mechanisms. You’ll have to appreciate that, as in watches, proliferation resistant is not the same thing as proliferation proof, an important point if Russia is to turn Iran’s enriched uranium into fuel rods for the reactor at Bushehr.

Also, get a handle on PMD (Possible Military Dimensions) of the Iranian nuclear program, a regular staple of reports by the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) as well as Iran’s acquiescence to the AP (meaning the Additional Protocol of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, not the news agency). Meantime, keep a close eye on Arak (the plutonium-breeding reactor near the city by the same name, not the ­liquor). Examine the feasibility of “snap-back” sanctions.

And so on. The avalanche of fine print will convey an appearance of meticulousness and transparency. If this were a nuclear deal between the US and, say, Finland, no doubt it would be so.

But we’re talking about Iran, meaning the abundance of detail will serve a more obfuscatory function. The Obama administration will count on a broad measure of public ignorance and media credulity, meaning it can sell a deal by citing experts who happen to agree with its conclusions. Anyone want to have a debate about how much U-235 dances on the head of an Iranian SWU?

As for Iran, a deal with 100 moving parts also serves it well. 
“The Iranians will cheat the way they always cheat, which is incrementally, not dramatically,” says sanctions expert Mark Dubowitz of the Foundation for Defence of Democracies. “Sooner or later, we’ll spot a potential violation and get into a debate about forensics: Are the Iranians complying or not? This will eat up time before we even get to the political debate over what to do about it.”
That’s been the Iranian M.O. ever since their covert nuclear program was first exposed in 2002. We’ve been negotiating their noncompliance ever since. Why should a regime that has paid no price for dishonesty suddenly discover the virtues of honesty in a post-deal world?

Supporters of a deal offer three answers. One is that the sanctions relief the West will offer in the deal can always be reversed in the event Iran cheats. “We can crank that dial back up,” as US President Barack Obama said about sanctions last year. They also argue that what Iran seeks is to become, in the Bismarckian sense, a “satisfied power”, one that achieves its goals of diplomatic normalisation, economic prosperity and nuclear pride — but also knows its limits.

Finally, as the Economist magazine argued in a recent editorial, time is on the West’s side. Think of China in the early 1970s: sooner or later, Khamenei, like Mao, will die; sooner or later, public thirst for modernisation, led by a Deng Xiaoping-type figure such as President Hasan Rowhani, will steer Tehran to a better path.

Maybe so: dreams sometimes come true.
But diplomacy based on dreams usually fails.

Iran, under its moderate leadership, executes one person roughly every seven hours. It boasts broad sway over four Arab capitals: Beirut, Damascus, Baghdad and, most recently, Sanaa, in Yemen. The President of the Great Satan is all but begging for a nuclear deal. ­European companies are already salivating at the thought of a piece of the post-sanctions Iranian economy. Try dialling that back.

As for the opposition once known as the Green Revolution, when did you last hear from it?

The White House likes to make much of the notion that Iran, starved by sanctions, is like a beggar at a banquet. If so, this beggar doesn’t settle for scraps. If Iran says no to a deal, Kerry will soon be back with a better offer. If it says yes, it will take what it’s given and, in good time, take some more.

Al-Qa’ida on a “path to defeat”. America “out of Iraq”. It won’t be long before a nuclear deal with Iran will join the list of Obama’s hollow Mideast achievements.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Abbas's license to incite murder

From JPost, 13 Nov 2014, by Melanie Phillips*:

Mahmoud Abbas
Abbas - venomous indoctrinator

As if the escalating terrorist attacks in Israel over the past few weeks haven’t been bad enough, what has been so dismaying is the way the West simply refuses to acknowledge what is happening in front of its eyes.

Numerous Western media outlets described the murderous attacks by Palestinians ramming their cars into Israelis in the street as “car crashes” or “traffic accidents.”

Yet Fatah’s official Facebook page featured cartoons, lyrics and other messages encouraging Palestinians to run over Israelis with their vehicles. Preposterously, it raved that the Aksa mosque was under threat. “Run over, friend, run over the foreign settler!” it screamed. “The Jews are defiling al-Aksa – will you not rage?” As the director-general of the Strategic Affairs Ministry Yossi Kuperwasser said this week, the violence – which has developed into stabbing attacks – is the inevitable result of the systematic dehumanization of Jews ingrained in Palestinians’ psyche from early childhood. Day in, day out they are told that the Jews are “the descendants of apes and pigs,” that they have “no historical connection to Jerusalem,” that they are “defiling” the city with their presence and that those who kill them are heroes.

Such venomous indoctrination is being perpetrated by Palestinian school textbooks, social media, cultural activities – and by Mahmoud Abbas. This supposedly moderate Palestinian leader has now revealed himself openly as a principal instigator of violence and mass murder.

Referring to all Jews visiting Temple Mount as “settlers,” Abbas has whipped up hysteria and incited war on Israel over the most explosive place on earth by declaring: “We will not allow our holy places to be contaminated,” praising the Palestinians hurling missiles from al-Aksa as “heroes” and declaring they had “the right to defend themselves and the holy places.”

Far from being a legitimate partner for peace, Abbas makes it clear over and over again that his true agenda is not two states side by side but the annihilation of Israel. He says he will never accept Israel as a Jewish state. He says he will never cede to Israel any land whatsoever.

Marking the 10th anniversary of the death of his predecessor Yasser Arafat, he declared: “He who surrenders one grain of the soil of Palestine and Jerusalem is not one of us,” and that “Jerusalem will be solely Palestinian.”

PA TV regularly refers to all of Israel as “occupied”; Palestinian maps, insignia and educational materials depict a Palestine which obliterates Israel and erases it from the map.

The current violence is thus demonstrably part of the war of extermination being waged against Israel not just by Hamas and Islamic Jihad but by Abbas’s PA. 

So why do Western leaders and media blame it on Israel? Why do they suggest – ludicrously – that it arises from some Jews’ desire to pray on Temple Mount? Why do media outlets (such as Sky News) replace the very name Temple Mount with al-Aksa? Why do they ignore the Nazi-derived Palestinian propaganda painting Jews as utterly diabolical? In any sane universe, Abbas would be in prison for incitement to murder. Why does the West insist he is a man of peace? Why does it adopt Palestinian lies and distortions as the default narrative of the Middle East conflict? There are many plausible explanations.

There’s the stunning success of the Arab strategy of reframing the Arab war against Israel as the oppression by Israel of the Palestinians.

There’s Israel’s myopic (and arrogant) refusal to acknowledge this psychological war that has been waged against it and to adopt a proper strategy to fight it.

There’s the post-modern disdain for truth and the corresponding credulousness in the face of lies. There’s the dominance of infantile leftists, for whom violence by the developing world is “resistance” and for whom the Palestinians, whose terrorists are cast in the same romantic mold as Che Guevara, are their signature cause.

There’s the historic anti-Jew and anti-Israel animus of Britain and Europe, and their deep financial ties to the godfathers of terror in the Arab and Muslim world. And there’s the particular animus of President Barack Obama, which would take many more articles to analyze.

But a deeper explanation is surely located in the current mindset of the West. To understand that, we have to go back to the seismic shock of the First World War. Horror at the slaughter in the trenches created an instinct for appeasement which, three decades later, almost enabled the victory of Nazism.

Its eventual defeat was due in large measure to the supremely fortunate accident of history that was Winston Churchill. After 1945, however, the horror of war was greatly reinforced by the revulsion against fascism.

Bigotry, emotionalism, violence and war were all rolled together.

War became seen as atavistic, a throwback to a less enlightened time. Killing was to be avoided. In this increasingly post-moral universe, the distinction between aggressor and victim became erased. There was no absolute right or wrong. Everyone had his own “narrative” to be treated with equal respect. Disputes were to be settled by negotiation, conflict resolution and peace processes.

A peace process, though, must have credible partners. If not it collapses, which may lead inevitably to war. But since war is now unthinkable, nothing can be allowed to scupper the peace process.

Underlining that fixation is the West’s existential belief in rationality – and also that the West is the sun around which other cultures merely revolve. Believing itself to be the acme of reason, and assuming that everyone in the world basks in its reflected radiance, it believes therefore that every other culture is governed by rationality and self-interest.

So it simply cannot understand religious fanaticism. It cannot understand the deranged, psychotic nature of Muslim Jew-hatred.

It cannot understand the absolute, implacable desire to wipe Israel off the map.

So it must deny that Israel is the victim of irrational, fanatical forces. It must deny that Iran really does mean to commit another Jewish genocide. It must deny Abbas’s Jew-hatred.

It must deny Palestinian incitement. It must deny that the Palestinians have broken every commitment and Israel has broken none. It must deny that Palestinianism is built on a murderous lie. It must deny the Islamic threat to the entire free world.

That is why the West is currently such a menace, not just to Israel but also, remarkably, to itself.

*Melanie Phillips is a columnist for The Times (UK). approved by a moderator before being published on Disqus users can post comments automatically.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Palestinian Arab Music Video encourages murder

From PMW, 7 Nov 2014:

Song with visuals encourages terror against Israelis: "Run [them] over, destroy... blow them up"

"You (i.e., Israelis) ran over a two-month-old, we paid you back twofold
For you, glorious Al-Aqsa
We’ll run over settlers
Run over the settler! Run over the settler!
Lay an ambush on the road And run them over, Allah will aid you
The whole Arab nation is telling you: Al-Akari, bless your [soul]
Run over the settler! Run over the settler!...
Abd Al-Rahman Al-Shaloudi ran over a Jewish settler
He did it for his country with his limited means
Run over the settler! Run over the settler!...
Today, the entire people demands a hero willing to fight with weapons
He began fighting with a car, running them over like rabbits.
Run over the settler! Run over the settler!...
Run them over, burn the next in line
Don’t leave a single settler
In Gaza they [Hamas] took away their dignity.
In the [West] Bank we want to wipe them out.
Run over the settler! Run over the settler!
Wait for them at the intersection
Let the settler drown in red blood
Terrorize them, your heart is strong.
Careful: Show no compassion
Run over the settler! Run over the settler!
Mutaz Hijazi didn’t neglect [his duty] when he wielded his weapon and took control
Mother [of Hijazi], let’s hear cries of joy Mutaz has been promised Paradise.
Run over the settler! Run over the settler!...
Run [them] over, destroy, annihilate, blow them up;
Don’t let the Zionist live long
O Al-Aqsa, we’re your defenders
O son of Jerusalem, cry ‘Allah is great’!
Run over the settler! Run over the settler!...
Netanyahu, tell your people, your soldiers have gotten lost in the [West] Bank
Every day we’ll run over one of your soldiers, O Palestinians, O proud ones
Run over the settler! Run over the settler!
Refuel your car and run over the settlers
Until my country’s land returns, for your sake, Palestine.
Run over the settler! Run over the settler!‎"

Note: Ibrahim Al-Akari - Hamas terrorist from East Jerusalem who carried out a terror attack by car on Nov. 5, 2014, at a light-rail station in Jerusalem, killing two and injuring at least 13 others. He was shot and killed by Israeli police officers who arrived on the scene.

Abd Al-Rahman Al-Shaloudi - On Oct. 22, 2014, Al-Shaloudi deliberately ran over people waiting at a light-rail station in Jerusalem with his car, killing three-month-old Israeli-American Haya Zissel-Brown and Karen Mosquera, 22, of Ecuador, and injuring 7 others. He was shot by police while attempting to flee, and later died of his wounds.

Mutaz Hijazi – Islamic Jihad member and released prisoner who attempted to assassinate Rabbi Yehuda Glick, a prominent activist working to assure rights for Jews to visit and pray on the Temple Mount, on Oct. 29, 2014. The assassination attempt took place following a conference on establishing times and places for Jews to pray on the Temple Mount. Glick was seriously wounded in the attack; Hijazi was killed soon afterwards when he opened fire on an Israeli police force that was attempting to arrest him.

Jews murdered. US urges 'all parties to exercise restraint'

(Read carefully) from the transcript of the US State Department Daily Press Briefing by Jen Psaki, Spokesperson, Washington, DC, November 10, 2014:

...QUESTION: On Israel.

MS. PSAKI: Israel. Sure, go ahead.

QUESTION: Just the latest developments in Jerusalem --

MS. PSAKI: Sure.

QUESTION: -- and the stabbing in the West Bank.

MS. PSAKI: Sure, sure, sure.

QUESTION: Or Tel Aviv and – Tel Aviv and the West Bank.

MS. PSAKI: Well, as you know, there are, unfortunately, a couple of events.


MS. PSAKI: So let me just speak to all of them. We strongly condemn the stabbings – the stabbing today in the West Bank and we deeply regret the loss of life. Our condolences go out to the victim’s family. It is absolutely critical that parties take every possible measure to protect civilians and de-escalate tensions.

We are also seeking additional information surrounding the incident of the Israeli Arab who was shot with – who was shot as well with a live bullet. We’re looking for information surrounding this incident. We’re in touch – close touch with the ministry of justice. And of course, we urge all parties to exercise restraint. Obviously, these events happened over the course of the last 12 to 24 hours, so I don’t have more details than what’s been out there at this point.

QUESTION: All right. I’m just going to assume – but correct me if I’m wrong – that when you say all parties’ restraint, you’re talking about the – who are you talking about?

MS. PSAKI: Well, we’re talking about the Israelis, the Palestinians – any who are involved in these tension-raising, rhetoric-raising incidents.

QUESTION: Okay. But, I mean, if you’re standing at a bus stop or something and someone runs a car into you or comes up and stabs you, I don't know how – I mean, those people aren’t – don’t need to exercise restraint, do they?

MS. PSAKI: Well, Matt, I think I’m referring to the fact that we know that there have been – there’s been rising tensions in the region --


MS. PSAKI: -- that has led to some of these incidents. I think we all are aware of that, so --

QUESTION: All right. In terms of the restraint and the rhetoric, are you seeing any – I mean, last week, you were pretty down on both sides, or you were up on – you were pleased with Prime Minister Netanyahu’s calls and the stuff that he did with the Jordanians about getting the tensions around the Temple Mount down, but you weren’t particularly happy with President Abbas. Has that changed?

MS. PSAKI: Well, I think, as I also said last week, I was speaking to one incident --


MS. PSAKI: -- of Prime Minister Netanyahu.


MS. PSAKI: Obviously, there have been a range of issues and events that have led to the rising tensions in the region that both sides need to do more to fix.


MS. PSAKI: Correct.

QUESTION: Still. And can you point to anything significant along those lines over the course of the – over the weekend?

MS. PSAKI: Positive steps?

QUESTION: Positive or negative.

MS. PSAKI: There aren’t any positive steps I have to --

QUESTION: There are no positive steps, correct?

MS. PSAKI: No additional, no.

QUESTION: Let me ask you, though – this area, like, in Hebron is not under the authority of the Palestinian Authority. So basically, it’s – it is the Israeli occupation forces that are responsible for that area. Would you call for the Palestinians perhaps to exercise more authority and perhaps they can stop these incidents from happening, to make sure they look after the bus stops and other places where Israeli settlers may be exposed to danger or to attacks?

MS. PSAKI: Well --

QUESTION: Would you call for a more --

MS. PSAKI: Said, I think we don’t have a lot of details at this point in terms of why these events happened, who’s responsible. So it’s hard to assess what the solution should be without having more details.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

It's time to end the indoctrination and incitement fuelling decentralised terrorism

From Caroline Glick, Friday, November 7th, 2014:

A Driver Rams His Car Into Pedestrians In Suspected East Jerusalem Terror Attack
A Driver Rams His Car Into Pedestrians In Suspected East Jerusalem Terror Attack

In the postmortems of the terrorist car attacks in Jerusalem, it is easy to see the writing on the wall.

Ibrahim al-Akary, the terrorist who on Wednesday ran over crowds of people waiting to cross the street and catch the Jerusalem Light Rail, was the brother of one of the terrorist murderers freed in exchange for IDF hostage Gilad Schalit. He had placed the photograph on his Facebook page of Moataz Hejazi, the terrorist killed by police after shooting Yehuda Glick outside the Begin Heritage Center last Wednesday.

A few days before Abdur Rahman Slodi got into his car and mowed down three-month-old Chaya Zissel Braun and a dozen other pedestrians two weeks ago, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas exhorted the Palestinians to prevent Jews from visiting the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site, by all means possible. Slodi had served time in prison for terrorist offenses and was active on social media where he expressed murderous hatred for Jews and a desire to kill them.

So yes, the writing was on the wall. But unfortunately, the writing is on all the walls, or Facebook walls. It is not at all clear how Israeli security services could have known to distinguish these men from the thousands of other Palestinians and Jerusalem Arabs who hate Israel, support the murder of Jews and identify with various terrorist organizations.

On Thursday security forces arrested several people in villages around Hebron with suspected ties to Akary. So he may not have been acting on his own. But all the same, neither he nor Slodi seem to have been directed to carry out their attacks by a cell commander who himself was directed by a higher level terrorist operative. Rather, in all likelihood, something triggered both men to carry out attacks in a wholly independent or semi-independent manner.

The question is, what was the trigger and how was it pulled?

The Israeli media are obsessed with the question of whether or not we are experiencing an third Palestinian terrorist onslaught, or intifada. Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch insists that we are not. Others insist that we are. Whatever we want to call it, we are seeing a new form of Palestinian terrorist warfare against Israel, which in many key aspects mimics the larger jihad carried out by al-Qaida and its affiliates and spin-offs.

In a recent article in the online Small Wars Journal, Maj. Nicholas Pace from NATO’s Joint Forces Command discussed how al-Qaida and Islamic State have decentralized their terrorist networks.

Due to the superior signals intelligence fielded by the US, Pace explained, al-Qaida and Islamic State have diffused and decentralized their networks into smaller hubs that operate independently. The role of terrorist chiefs like al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri is to inspire and incite, and to a degree direct, operations, rather than plan and order them.

Today the main factor unifying al-Qaida and Islamic State and their sister groups and followers in the region and worldwide is ideology. They all share the same hatred of the West, of all religions other than Islam and of all competing forms of Islam. They all seek the establishment of a global caliphate that will rule the world under the banner of Islam.

As Pace notes, this shared ideology was all that US Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hassan needed to feel that he was a member of al-Qaida when in 2009, after have a few Internet communications with al-Qaida ideologue Awar al-Awlaki, he walked onto the Fort Hood military base in Texas and massacred his fellow soldiers.

Pace argues that Islamic State forces in Iraq and Syria also operate along a decentralized model of operations, and the more they are directly targeted by the US and its allies, the more they will decentralize and compartmentalize their force structure.

The operational advantage of this model is that it gives enormous flexibility and independence to operatives in the field to maximize their resources. The drawback is that those resources tend to be less sophisticated than those that can be brought to bear by a centrally organized and resourced military organization.

But this isn’t really a problem for jihadists.

As Pace notes, they see themselves as soldiers in a long-term struggle. Their goal is not necessarily to conquer their target populations. Rather they seek to make life impossible for target societies. Mass chaos sowed by constant, low intensity, near-scatter-shot attacks can over time be sufficient to break the will of a targeted society or military organization to fight them.

Certainly this has been the case for the Iraqi military that has melted away in the face of Islamic State’s fanatical troops.

For such a decentralized military system to work, the leadership needs two things: a shared ideology, and communications capabilities that enable them to incite and loosely directly violence.

Ideology is not something that people pick up or discard quickly or easily. For a person to be attracted to the jihadist cause he has to undergo indoctrination over a significant period of time. You cannot incite a person to strike if he hasn’t already been indoctrinated in a manner that makes him amenable to your incendiary call to action.

And this brings us back to the Palestinians and the trigger for the attacks conducted by independent or semi-independent terrorist operatives.

With the exception of Pakistani students in madrassas, few societies have undergone the mass indoctrination that the Palestinians have undergone over the past 20 years of Palestinian Authority rule. From the cradle to the grave, and most significantly in the school system, Palestinians are indoctrinated to hate Jews and seek the violent destruction of Israel. They are told that it is an Islamic duty to fight Jews and destroy Israel. This is as true in regular PA schools as it is in schools run by the United Nations Relief Works Agency (UNRWA).

We are experiencing today in Jerusalem a decentralized terrorist campaign rooted in the 20-year indoctrination of the Palestinians.
Yes, Hamas and Fatah still operate terrorist cells and units that are members of terrorist hierarchies. But at the same time, they have used a model similar to al-Qaida’s in developing semi-independent and wholly independent networks of operatives and operational cells. These independent cells are highly motivated and are willing to wait until they receive generalized signals from their leadership to strike.

So it was for instance in June with the kidnapping and murder of the three teenagers in Gush Etzion. A few weeks before the kidnapping took place, from his home in Qatar, Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal remarked that Hamas needed more hostages to trade for jailed terrorists.

The terrorists in Hebron were motivated to strike. With the financial assistance of Saleh al-Arouri, the Hamas ideologue and operational commander in Turkey, they were able to purchase what they needed for the kidnapping. And when Mashaal said the time had come to kidnap Israelis, the countdown to the kidnap and murder of Naftali Fraenkel, Gil-Ad Shaer and Eyal Yifrah began.
The cell was isolated and tiny. Mashaal’s order was indirect.

In the case of the violence in Jerusalem, indoctrination in UNRWA schools in places like Shuafat refugee camp where Akary lived, not to mention throughout Judea, Samaria and Gaza, has raised generations of Arabs who hate Israel and Jews.

Owing to this indoctrination, when presented with mass incitement by preachers in the mosques, and most importantly by the official Palestinian Authority media, these calls for violence are immediately embraced on a massive scale. Indeed, the comfort level that the Arabs of Jerusalem feel today in supporting terrorism may well be unprecedented.

For instance, until this Wednesday night, every time terrorists in Jerusalem used motor vehicles to murder Israelis, their families and neighbors insisted that they were not terrorists but hapless drivers. There had been no attack, merely a traffic accident.

On Wednesday night when reporters went to interview Akary’s family and neighbors, they were met by shouts of praise for his murderous act. He was embraced as a martyr. And just as important, his act inspired mob violence in Shuafat and other Arab neighborhoods against police forces. For the first time, support for terrorism outweighed concern about alienating their Jewish neighbors or forcing police retaliation.

On Thursday Fatah’s Facebook page was full of images calling for Palestinians to run over Jews. As Palestinian Media Watch reported, one used a play on words between the Arabic acronym for Islamic State and the Arabic word for running something over, thus positively associating the terrorists who run over Jews with members of Islamic State.

Hamas – Fatah’s partner in the PA’s coalition government – was similarly quick to praise Akary and call for more such attacks.

In dealing with this burgeoning, decentralized terrorist campaign, aside from taking action to protect bus stops with various barricades, Israel needs to go after the triggers.

It needs to break up the indoctrination system.

And it needs to destroy the Palestinian leadership’s ability to communicate their incendiary messages.

Since UNRWA schools operating in Jerusalem engage in anti-Semitic indoctrination, Jerusalem municipal authorities must give them the choice of using Israeli textbooks or shutting down. If Israel wishes to assert its sovereignty, UNRWA schools would be a good place to start. Beyond that, preachers in mosques who incite murder and call for the destruction of Israel should be arrested.

As for the PA’s communications networks, all of the radio and television signals operating in the PA come from the Israeli electromagnetic spectrum. It is time to shut them down. As Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated on Wednesday, Abbas is directly inciting the murderous attacks on Jerusalem through the PA media organs. The way to protect Jerusalem is to remove him and his Hamas partners from the airwaves.

There has been a lot of talk over the years about providing positive and negative incentives to convince the Palestinians not to engage in terrorism. But now is not the time for incentives. The population mobilized through incitement has become too fanatical to engage with reason.

The terrorists who take the wheel and run over pedestrians know that they will more than likely never come home. And they don’t care. They certainly don’t care that Israel will destroy their homes. And they also certainly won’t be impressed by discounted mortgages if they integrate into Israeli society.

In the long term, it is imperative that Israel provide incentives to both the Jerusalem Arabs and the Palestinians to integrate peacefully with Israeli society. But before the government can seriously engage in this task, it needs to destroy the triggers of this terrorist onslaught. It is not enough to complain about Palestinian indoctrination and incitement. It is time for Israel to end them.