Saturday, January 12, 2008

Bush follows Christ

From an "ANALYSIS" in The Australian, by Abraham Rabinovich January 12, 2008 [excerpts only, with my own emphasis added - may not convey the author's intended, ridiculous, message...SL]:

BETWEEN his complex round of talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders and a five-day foray to the Persian Gulf, George W. Bush paused briefly yesterday on the biblical Mount of Beatitudes overlooking the Sea of Galilee to contemplate the message delivered there 2000 years before: "blessed are the peacemakers".

...he traced the footsteps of Jesus Christ in the Holy Land...

....Bush's peacemaking efforts extended even to internal Israeli politics. At a farewell dinner at the home of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Bush urged the leaders of two right-wing coalition parties not to leave the Government as they have threatened to do if Olmert negotiates further Israeli withdrawals on the West Bank and in Jerusalem.
"Take care of Olmert, so he will stay in power," said Bush. "He's a strong leader."

One of these leaders, Eli Yishai of the religious Shas party, said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas did not control the Gaza Strip and was therefore not a suitable negotiating partner.
"We cannot make peace with half the Palestinian nation." [Note that Abbas doesn't even control the West Bank .... why does he NEVER venture out of Ramallah? - SL]

....When Bush visited the provisional Palestinian capital, Ramallah, he was guarded by three circles of security men - US secret service agents, US marines and, in the outer circle, Palestinian security forces. The Palestinian guards carried rifles but they were not provided with ammunition. Many of the attacks on Israelis in the West Bank have been carried out by security men wearing the uniform of the Palestinian Authority led by Abbas, but whose allegiance lies with Hamas or other militant groups. Bush, therefore, had to be protected from his own guards.

...He appeared to gain spiritual sustenance in visits to the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, marking where Christ is believed to have been born, and the site of the Sermon on the Mount.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Ms. Magazine Blocks Ad on Israeli Women

From the Centre Daily Times (Pennsylvania), Thursday, Jan. 10, 2008 [emphasis added]:

NEW YORK, Jan. 10 — Ms. Magazine has long been in the forefront of the fight for equal rights and equal opportunities for women. Apparently that is not the case if the women happen to be Israeli.

The magazine has turned down an [American Jewish Congress] advertisement that did nothing more controversial than call attention to the fact that women currently occupy three of the most significant positions of power in Israeli public life. The proposed ad (The Ad Ms. Didn't Want You To See) included a text that merely said, "This is Israel," under photographs of President of the Supreme Court Dorit Beinish, Vice Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni and Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik.

"What other conclusion can we reach," asked Richard Gordon, President of AJCongress, "except that the publishers − and if the publishers are right, a significant number of Ms. Magazine readers − are so hostile to Israel that they do not even want to see an ad that says something positive about Israel?"

When Director of AJCongress' Commission for Women's Empowerment Harriet Kurlander tried to place the ad, she was told that publishing the ad "will set off a firestorm" and that "there are very strong opinions" on the subject − the subject presumably being whether or not one can say anything positive about Israel. Ms. Magazine publisher Eleanor Smeal failed to respond to a signed-for certified letter with a copy of the ad as well as numerous calls by Mr. Gordon over a period of weeks.

A Ms. Magazine representative, Susie Gilligan, whom the Ms. Magazine masthead lists under the publisher's office, told Ms. Kurlander that the magazine "would love to have an ad from you on women's empowerment, or reproductive freedom, but not on this." Ms. Gilligan failed to elaborate what "this" is.

"The only conclusion that one can reach from this behavior is that Ms. Magazine feels that an ad highlighting the accomplishments of three incredibly talented and dedicated women would offend their readership. Since there is nothing about the ad itself that is offensive, it is obviously the nationality of the women pictured that the management of Ms. fears their readership would find objectionable. For a publication that holds itself out to be in the forefront of the Women's Movement, this is nothing short of disgusting and despicable," stated Mr. Gordon.

..."Obviously, Ms. believes our ad would enflame a significant portion of their readers."
[said Richard Gordon, President of AJCongress], "What really amazes me is that just recently, in their Winter 2007 issue, Ms. ran a cover story with a picture of Congresswomen Nancy Pelosi with the heading in big letters: "This is What a Speaker Looks Like." While Ms. has every reason to be proud of Speaker Pelosi and her accomplishments, as are we, the only discernable difference between Speaker Pelosi and Speaker Itzik apparently is that Speaker Pelosi is not Israeli."

Mr. Gordon noted that while Israel was apparently too hot to handle, Ms. Magazine did not extend that taboo to Arab and Muslim women. "What is even more amazing is that, while refusing to publish a simple ad praising three very notable women, women who embody the ideal that Ms. Magazine seemingly espouses, Ms. has run a cover article in the Fall 2003 issue on Queen Noor of Jordan, has featured a number of articles on Muslim women, and even ran an article in the Winter 2004 issue entitled, 'Images of Palestine,' which discussed the Ramallah Film Festival and gave sympathetic reviews to films concerning 'the liberation of South Lebanon' from Israel as well as numerous films which portrayed terrorism as legitimate 'revolutionary' activity against Israel and miscast Israel's activities to counter terrorism as 'oppressive.'"

"Clearly Ms. has changed a great deal from the days when AJCongress members and leaders of the AJCongress' Commission for Women's Equality − including Betty Friedan, Bella Abzug and Ms. co-founder Letty Pogrebin − were at the forefront of the Women's Movement that led to the creation of Ms. Magazine."

AJCongress President Gordon concluded, "Ms. has the right to turn down our ad. But in exercising that right, it has spoken loudly about itself and its readership, and their lingering hostility to Israel." ...

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Yisrael Beiteinu threatens to resign from coalition

From Ynet News, 8/1/08, by Roni Sofer:

If prime minister launches talks on core issues we'll leave government by end of this week, says Tourism Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch; Minister for Strategic Affairs Avigdor Lieberman still waiting for clarifications from Olmert

If the prime minister launches talks on the core issues we will be out of this government by the end of the week, Tourism Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch (Yisrael Beiteinu) told Ynet on Tuesday evening.

Aharonovitch's remarks were made on the backdrop of the refusal of his party's leader, Minister for Strategic Affairs Avigdor Lieberman, to announce that the faction would leave the coalition in light of the agreement reached between Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to jumpstart the discussions on the core issues, including Jerusalem's status.

Lieberman announced earlier that he was waiting for a clarification talk with the prime minister on the matter.... Earlier this week, Lieberman said that "any start of negotiation on the core issues, any attempt to evacuate settlements and outposts, obligates us to immediately withdraw from the coalition."

According to his fellow faction member, Minister Aharonovitch, "We have made it clear to the prime minister that we believe some problems come before a discussion of the core issues. "Aren't we being struck by terror from the north and south? Have the Palestinians met their commitment to fight terror? These issues should be dealt with before any discussion on the core of conflict.

"We are going out. If the prime minister wants to take us out of the coalition, this is his chance. The moment the talks on these issues begin, we are out," he concluded.

Are Israeli settlements legal?

From the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

...Israeli settlements in the West Bank are legal both under international law and the agreements between Israel and the Palestinians. Claims to the contrary are mere attempts to distort the law for political purposes. Yet whatever the status of the settlements, their existence should never be used to justify terrorism.

The Palestinians often claim that settlement activity is illegal and call on Israel to dismantle every settlement. In effect, they are demanding that every Jew leave the West Bank, a form of ethnic cleansing. By contrast, within Israel, Arabs and Jews live side-by-side; indeed, Israeli Arabs, who account for approximately 20% of Israel's population, are citizens of Israel with equal rights.

The Palestinian call to remove all Jewish presence from the disputed territories is not only discriminatory and morally reprehensible; it has no basis either in law or in the agreements between Israel and the Palestinians.

The various agreements reached between Israel and the Palestinians since 1993 contain no prohibitions on the building or expansion of settlements. On the contrary, they specifically provide that the issue of settlements is reserved for permanent status negotiations, which are to take place in the concluding stage of the peace talks. The parties expressly agreed that the Palestinian Authority has no jurisdiction or control over settlements or Israelis, pending the conclusion of a permanent status agreement.

It has been charged that the provision contained in the Israel-Palestinian Interim Agreement prohibiting unilateral steps that alter the status of the West Bank implies a ban on settlement activity. This position is disingenuous. The prohibition on unilateral measures was designed to ensure that neither side take steps that would change the legal status of this territory (such as by annexation or a unilateral declaration of statehood), pending the outcome of permanent status talks. The building of homes has no effect on the final permanent status of the area as a whole. Were this prohibition to be applied to building, it would lead to the unreasonable interpretation that neither side is permitted to build houses to accommodate the needs of their respective communities.

As the Israeli claim to these territories is legally valid, it is just as legitimate for Israelis to build their communities as it is for the Palestinians to build theirs. Yet in the spirit of compromise, successive Israeli governments have indicated their willingness to negotiate the issue and have adopted a voluntary freeze on the building of new settlements as a confidence-building measure.
Furthermore, Israel had established its settlements in the West Bank in accordance with international law. Attempts have been made to claim that the settlements violate Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, which forbids a state from deporting or transferring "parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies." However, this allegation has no validity in law as Israeli citizens were neither deported nor transferred to the territories.

Although Israel has voluntarily taken upon itself the obligation to uphold the humanitarian provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention, Israel maintains that the Convention (which deals with occupied territories) was not applicable to the disputed territory. As there had been no internationally recognized legal sovereign in either the West Bank or Gaza prior to the 1967 Six Day War, they cannot be considered to have become "occupied territory" when control passed into the hands of Israel.

Yet even if the Fourth Geneva Convention were to apply to the territories, Article 49 would not be relevant to the issue of Jewish settlements. The Convention was drafted immediately following the Second World War, against the background of the massive forced population transfers that occurred during that period. As the International Red Cross' authoritative commentary to the Convention confirms, Article 49 (entitled "Deportations, Transfers, Evacuations") was intended to prevent the forcible transfer of civilians, thereby protecting the local population from displacement. Israel has not forcibly transferred its citizens to the territory and the Convention does not place any prohibition on individuals voluntarily choosing their place of residence. Moreover, the settlements are not intended to displace Arab inhabitants, nor do they do so in practice. According to independent surveys, the built-up areas of the settlements (not including roads or unpopulated adjacent tracts) take up about 3% of the total territory of the West Bank.

Israel's use of land for settlements conforms to all rules and norms of international law. Privately owned lands are not requisitioned for the establishment of settlements. In addition, all settlement activity comes under the supervision of the Supreme Court of Israel (sitting as the High Court of Justice) and every aggrieved inhabitant of the territories, including Palestinian residents, can appeal directly to this Court.

The Fourth Geneva Convention was certainly not intended to prevent individuals from living on their ancestral lands or on property that had been illegally taken from them. Many present-day Israeli settlements have been established on sites that were home to Jewish communities in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) in previous generations, in an expression of the Jewish people's deep historic and religious connection with the land. Many of the most ancient and holy Jewish sites, including the Cave of the Patriarchs (the burial site of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) and Rachel's Tomb, are located in these areas. Jewish communities, such as in Hebron (where Jews lived until they were massacred in 1929), existed throughout the centuries. Other communities, such as the Gush Etzion bloc in Judea, were founded before 1948 under the internationally endorsed British Mandate.

The right of Jews to settle in all parts of the Land of Israel was first recognized by the international community in the 1922 League of Nations Mandate for Palestine. The purpose of the Mandate was to facilitate the establishment of a Jewish national home in the Jewish people's ancient homeland. Indeed, Article 6 of the Mandate provided for "close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands not required for public use."

For more than a thousand years, the only time that Jewish settlement was prohibited in the West Bank was under the Jordanian occupation (1948-1967) that resulted from an armed invasion. During this period of Jordanian rule, which was not internationally recognized, Jordan eliminated the Jewish presence in the West Bank (as Egypt did in the Gaza Strip) and declared that the sale of land to Jews was a capital offense. It is untenable that this outrage could invalidate the right of Jews to establish homes in these areas, and accordingly, the legal titles to land that had already been acquired remain valid to this day.

In conclusion, the oft-repeated claim regarding the illegality' of Israeli settlements has no legal or factual basis under either international law or the agreements between Israel and the Palestinians. Such charges can only be regarded as politically motivated. Most importantly, any political claim - including the one regarding settlements - should never be used to justify terrorist attacks on innocent civilians....

Iranian missile peril for Europe

From The Sunday Telegraph (UK), by Carolynne Wheeler in Jerusalem, 07/01/2008 [emphasis added]:

Iran is developing nuclear missiles capable of reaching beyond its enemies in the Middle East to Europe....

...[The Israeli] government is convinced Iran is intent on becoming the first Muslim superpower, with weapons capable of striking not only at Israel but also Egypt, Libya, Saudi Arabia as well as Greece and other parts of south-eastern Europe.

...In an exclusive interview, Avi Dichter, the Israeli minister of public security, warned that Iran was developing missiles with a range of more than 1,250 miles..."Once you can reach with your missile double the distance between Iran and Israel, it means there is some farther target. Is it Egypt? Libya? Saudi Arabia? A European country?"

The Israeli intelligence community insists there is no proof that Iran has abandoned its weapons programme indefinitely. Mr Dichter said it was working to develop missiles with a range that suggested ambitions beyond threatening Israel. He said Israeli officials would warn Mr Bush that failing to take action would have serious consequences beyond the Middle East, where Iran was funding groups, including Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza.

The Sunday Telegraph revealed last year how Gulf countries, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, were spending billions of pounds on upgrading their armed forces to contain the growing threat from Iran....

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Barak on Lebanon / Gaza

From Ynet News, 7/1/08, by Hanan Greenberg [emphasis added]:

Hizbullah has gotten stronger
Decision for broad Gaza incursion has yet to be made

...Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Monday that Hizbullah has improved its capabilities by acquiring higher-quality rockets with longer ranges than those fired in the Second Lebanon War. He spoke during a meeting of the Council for Peace and Security in Tel Aviv....

...During his remarks, Barak said that Hizbullah's rocket inventory had grown by a large margin from its size before the previous war and currently includes upgraded rockets capable of reaching further distances. He added that Hizbuallah seems to be operating north of the Litani River and has fortified its positions through the use of "nature reserves" – a euphemism for military bunkers.

According to Barak's gloomy portrayal, there is a currently free passage of arms between Syria and Lebanon.

He also said that is appears that former Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion's principle – the principle of only getting involved in unavoidable wars – was not followed in the Second Lebanon War.

Barak hinted that the war was not unavoidable and that, in any case, the principle of using overwhelming force to press the enemy to surrender quickly was also not applied.

....Minister Barak also referred to the ongoing events in Gaza. He hinted at the possibility of a wide-scale incursion into the coastal strip but also said that such an option had not yet been decided upon....

Iran rattles its sabres

From an Interview of the US President by Nahum Barnea and Shimon Shiffer of Yediot Ahronot, Oval Office, January 2, 2008:

....Q Mr. President, the Israeli people are worried, first and foremost, because of the danger that Iran will acquire nuclear weapons. Can you, Mr. President, assure the Israelis that such a danger will never occur under your watch?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I can assure the people of Israel and others in the Middle East that an Iran with a nuclear weapon would be a danger to world peace. I have said so very explicitly. I believe that the -- and I believe we have put in place a system that encourages pressure on the Iranians to come up with -- to either have a choice between isolation and financial difficulty, or a rational approach to what they claim is their sovereign right, which is the ability to have nuclear power.
Now, they have been untrustworthy, they have been unwilling to be transparent and open. And so our demands are to the Iranians, not only with our voice, but the voice of the international community thus far, is, you must be transparent, you must be open, and you -- because of your failure to report programs, that you cannot be trusted with the ability to learn how to enrich. And so my message to the Israeli people is, I fully understand the threat; that we spend a lot of time on this issue; and that we will continue to exert maximum pressure through the international community to peacefully resolve this issue.

Q I'm sure you've heard the report by the American intelligence ...

...THE PRESIDENT: Actually, if you study the report carefully, it ... said that Iran had a secret program ...In the year 2003....

... But my message to the American people was, is that a non-transparent society that had a program could easily have another program. And therefore, the intensity of the effort must not decline, but must stay strong -- and the intensity of the effort being to prevent them from developing the know-how.

Secondly, there are three stages to the development of a nuclear weapon: one, materials out of which to make a weapon. That's why we've got to stop them from enriching, and that's where our focus is. Two, the ability to take materials and to make it into a warhead or a bomb. And we don't know their capacities at this point in time, but it's fairly general knowledge on how to produce a weapon out of materials. And three, rockets. Well, two of the three continue to exist. And therefore, to say a weapons program does not exist is not the complete truth. And so our focus is to prevent the one thing over which we believe the international community can have influence, which is to stop the capacity to enrich.

Thirdly, the report did say that as a result of pressures, the Iranians suspended their military program. Well, if pressures worked in the past, my hope is that pressures will work in the future. Part of the reason I'm going to the Middle East is to make it abundantly clear to nations in that part of the world that we view Iran as a threat, and that the NIE in no way lessens that threat, but in fact clarifies the threat....

..... The international response ought to be that, okay, whether or not you agree with the NIE or not, at least recognize that they had a program at one point in time, and demand that Iran explain it. We shouldn't be trying to explain why we know what we know. We ought to be focusing on the Iranians to say, you tell us why you had a program; you tell us about the -- if you want to be an international player, it's up to you to explain....

....and from DEBKAfile, January 7, 2008:

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards’ harassment of US warships in Strait of Hormuz carried 5 tough messages for Bush

DEBKAfile’s military and Iranian sources stress that the near-shooting incident Sunday, Jan. 6, in which 5 IRGC speedboats made threatening passes against three US Navy vessels in the Strait of Hormuz, was timed precisely by Tehran for the eve of President George W. Bush’s Middle East tour.

1. It was an “in your face” gesture by the IRGC to show the US president they were not scared by being declared a global terrorist organization, a step Bush took last year.
The elite Iranian corps was also intent on proving that Iran was the boss of the Strait of Hormuz, the crude oil outlet for Persian Gulf producers – not the US Navy.

2. A reminder that Iran is able to block the strait at will and throw the world’s oil traffic in disarray.

3. It is important for the Islamic Republic to show its neighbors on the US president’s itinerary that Iran is the region’s leading power, not the US, and that no deals or issues can be finalized without Tehran’s say-so.

4. The Iranian speedboats were also a warning to the nations hosting Bush not to risk signing any military pacts that may be directed against Iran.

5. Tehran has been all ears to pick up every nuance from the White House ahead of the Bush tour. In an interview aired by Israeli television Sunday, Bush said that Iran “was a threat and is a threat” and the US has never given up its military option.

Israeli officials have also leaked a plan to show the visiting president intelligence data to refute the US National Intelligence Estimate’s claim that Iran gave up its nuclear arms program in 2003.

Over the weekend, supreme ruler Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s senior adviser Ali Larijani went from Cairo to Damascus to discuss the Lebanese crisis. This was meant as a signal to Washington that the problem was susceptible to diplomatic engagement. But when the Iranians heard the Bush interview, they decided to show muscle instead and launched the naval incident in the Strait of Hormuz.

6. While possibly a coincidence, the naval provocation occurred at the same time as al Qaeda’s American spokesman called on the region’s Muslim to greet the visiting US president with bombs. The two events have combined to add fuel to the climate in the region preparing to welcome President Bush.

Monday, January 07, 2008

The Profession of Death

From GLORIA, by Barry Rubin December 30, 2007 [emphasis added]:

...Back in 1946, an American diplomat asked an Iranian editor why his newspaper angrily criticized the United States but never the Soviet Union. The Iranian said that it was obvious. "The Russians," he said, "they kill people."

A dozen years earlier, in 1933, the Iraqi official Sami Shawkat, gave a talk which became one of the most famous texts of Arab nationalism. "There is something more important than money and learning for preserving the honor of a nation and for keeping humiliation at bay," he stated. "That is strength....Strength, as I use the word here, means to excel in the Profession of Death."

... Shawkat's own profession? He was director-general of Iraq's ministry of education. This was how young people were to be taught and directed; this is where Saddam Hussein came from. Seventy-five years later the subsequent history of Iraq and the rest of the Arab world show just how well Shawkat did his job.

September 11 in the United States; the Bali bombing for Australia; the tube bombing for Britain; the commuter train bombing for Spain, these were all merely byproducts of this pathology. The pathology in question is not Western policy toward the Middle East but rather Middle Eastern policy toward the Middle East.

...Like children playing with dynamite, Western intellectuals, journalists, and diplomats fantasize that they are achieving results in the Middle East with their words, promises, apologies, money, and concessions. ....

....Seventy-five years after Shawkat, Hamas television teaches Palestinian children in the Gaza Strip that their highest aspiration should be to become a suicide bomber, with success measured by how many Jews are killed. And, by the way, the Palestinian Authority's television in the West Bank sends a similar message, albeit not quite as often.

Will billions of dollars in aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA) change anything when the men with the guns take what they want? Are PA chief Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, respectively a timid bureaucrat and a well-meaning economist, going to take a bullet for lifting one finger to get a compromise peace with Israel?

How are you going to get a government of national conciliation in Iraq when the insurgents have shown they can gun down any Sunni politician or cleric who steps out of line?

The current supporters of the Lebanese government are probably the bravest politicians in the Arabic-speaking world, men willing to defy death. But how can they stand firm when Western governments rush to engage with the Syrian government that murdered them, and Western media proclaim the moderation of a Damascus ruler who systematically kills those who oppose him?

Can anyone really expect a stable society capable of progress in Pakistan when a large majority of the population expresses admiration for bin Ladin? And what about the Saudi system where, as one local writer put it, the big Usama put into practice what the little Usama learned in a Saudi school.

...The radical forces in the region are not expecting to retain or gain power by negotiating, compromising, or being better understood. They believe they are going to shoot their way into power or, just as good, accept the surrender of those they have intimidated.

That is why so much of the Western analysis and strategies for dealing with the region are a bad joke. Usama bin Ladin understands that, as he once said, people are going to back the strongest horse in the race.

According to all too many people in the Western elites, the way to win is to be the nicest horse.
But doesn't this assessment sound terribly depressing and hopeless? Well, yes and no.
Radical Islamists like to proclaim that they will triumph because they love death while their enemies--that is, soon-to-be-victims--love life.

Be careful what you wish for, though, because you probably will get it. For those who love death the reward is...death. For those who love life, the outcomes include decent educational systems, living standards, individual rights, and strong economic systems.

All these things, and others that go along with them, are what really produce strength. And isn't it interesting that, contrary to Shawkat, the nations that put the priority on these things enjoy far more honor and suffer far less humiliation than happens with his model.

The profession of death has wrecked most Middle Eastern societies. But it has never succeeded in defeating a free society. It is not an effective tactic for destroying others but only for devastating one's own people.....

Barry Rubin is Director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center, Interdisciplinary Center university, Herzliya.


From, December 14 2007, by Patrick Wood* [Emphasis added]:

...Islamic/Shari’a banking is coming to the United States and other western nations, thanks to global banks such as Citigroup, HSBC, Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs. With Great Britain now pledging to become the Islamic banking center of the world, the stampede by all global banks to enter the world of Islamic banking is well underway.

...The implications for the west, and especially for the United States, are staggering. Because all Islamic banking products must be created and offered according to strict Shari’a law, global banks are doing for Islam what it could never do on its own: give legitimacy to Shari’a and infiltrate it into the fabric of western society.

...To insure Shari’a compliance, banks must hire Shari’a scholars to review and approve each product and practice as “halal....

It should be noted that most of these scholars are from the school of radical Wahhabi/Salafi Shari’a in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere, holding views diametrically opposed to the basic values of Western civilization.

....There were very few Islamic banks prior to 1980. However, with the Khomeini revolution in Iran in 1979, Shari’a was summarily imposed throughout Iran and Shari’a finance took off.

Shari’a is the legal and judicial system of Islam that is brutally imposed on many Islamic countries in the middle east. It is the specific embodiment of the totalitarian ideology practiced by the Taliban, Iranian Mullahs and Saudi Wahhabis.

Shari’a is perpetuated by claiming to have its roots in the Koran, but in fact it is mostly the product of rulings and dictates made by Islamic scholars and caliphs over several centuries.
For non-Muslims, Shari’a is best known for its medieval, harsh brutality. Many rulings handed down by Shari’a courts have shocked the western world....

...To the average western mind, Shari’a is no more than a medieval, barbaric code that somehow survived to the 21st century. It flies in the face of western law, philosophy, liberty and freedom. Furthermore, it is the vehicle used to call for the complete destruction of the west and in particular the United States of America, which then will be replaced by Shari’a dictatorships.

How the banking rocket took off
At the behest of global trade moguls, numerous Free Trade Zones (FTZ’s) were created throughout the Islamic world that were full of windfall conditions.
For instance, the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), is a 110 acre free trade zone that was founded in 2004 in Dubai, UAE. According to the DIFC website, participants will enjoy "zero tax rate on income and profits, 100 per cent foreign ownership, no restrictions on foreign exchange or capital/profit repatriation, operational support and business continuity facilities.”
Not surprisingly, Morgan Stanley’s application was one of the first approved by the Dubai Financial Services Authority to operate within the DIFC...

...DIFC and similar Free Trade Zones are a banker’s nirvana into which global bankers have rushed headlong to establish regional financial centers. And the payoff? A chance to enter and then dominate the Islamic banking industry. Such banking has over $1.5 trillion on the table today, and is growing at a steady and explosive rate of over 15% per year.

Understanding that Islamic banking is a very recent phenomenon is underscored by the fact that its largest and most prestigious international conference, World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC) has met for a mere 14 years. The most recent meeting just concluded in Bahrain and attracted over 1,000 banking delegates from 35 countries.....McKinsey & Company was listed as a “Strategic Partner” of the WIBC, alongside of global accounting firm Ernst & Young and the consummate global investment banker, Goldman Sachs.....

...Britain’s PM Gordon Brown has pointedly stated that he intends to make London the Islamic finance capital of the world. Further, he pledged that in 2008 the British government will issue its own “sukuk”, or Shari’a compliant bonds. Yes, government debt issued as Shari’a compliant.
At the June 13, 2006 Islamic Finance Trade Conference in London, Brown revealed,
"Today British banks are pioneering Islamic banking - London now has more banks supplying services under Islamic principles than any other Western financial centre."

Brown’s statements can only be taken as a challenge by the New York banking establishment to beat him to the finish line. It doesn’t matter who wins this race because the result will be the same: Shari’a banking is quickly encircling the globe and forcing a de facto acceptance of Shari’a law.

International bankers have long ago proven themselves to be completely amoral when it comes to money. They bankrolled the Bolshevik Revolution in 1918 just as blithely as they bankrolled Hitler in the 1930’s. Fortunately for us, neither succeeded in conquering the world.

With Islam, odds of its succeeding are radically different. To start with, there are already 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, and it is the fastest growing religion in history. Secondly, the spread of Islam is richly financed by the oil that is extracted from mid-eastern countries. Thirdly, Islam has already infiltrated most of the west, especially in Europe.

And now, Islam has behind it the combined support and encouragement of the entire global banking community.

The unholy alliance between Islam and global banking may be the final leg on the age-old quest for global domination. Don’t be surprised at the silence of the global elite the next time you hear Islamist mobs chant “Death to America” – their goals are now intertwined.

1, Sharia’s Trojan Horse 2, Islamic Finance or Financing Islamism? 3, Islamic Economics: What Does it Mean? 4, Federal Reserve speech to Islamic Financial Services Industry Seminar 5, Fed speech on Regulation and Supervision of Islamic Banking 6, Islamic banking rises on oil wealth, drawing non-Muslims 7, How the West Came to Run Islamic Banks8, 12th Annual World Islamic Banking Conference 9, University Islamic Financial
© 2007 Patrick Wood - All Rights Reserved

*Patrick M. Wood is editor of The August Review, which builds on his original research with the late Dr. Antony C. Sutton, who was formerly a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution for War, Peace and Revolution at Stanford University. Their 1977-1982 newsletter, Trilateral Observer, was the original authoritative critique on the New International Economic Order spearheaded by members of the Trilateral Commission.