Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Who kills Arabs and Muslims?

From Hurriyet (Turkey), Tuesday, August 23, 2011, by Burak Bekdil:

It has been more than two and a half years since Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told to Israeli President Shimon Peres’s face, “You (Jews) know well how to kill.” Prime Minister Erdoğan has also declared more than a few times that the main obstacle to peace in this part of the world is Israel, once calling the Jewish state “a festering boil in the Middle East that spreads hate and enmity.”

In this holy month of Ramadan full of blood on Muslim territories, let’s try to identify who are the ones who know well how to kill.

As the Syrian death count clicks every day to come close to 2,000, the Turkish-Kurdish death count does not stop, already over 40,000 since 1984, both adding to the big pool of blood called the Middle East. Only during this Ramadan, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK’s, death toll has reached 50 in this Muslim Kurds vs. Muslim Turks war. This excludes the PKK casualties in Turkey and in northern Iraq due to Turkish military retaliation since they are seldom accurately reported.

Let’s speak of facts.

Sudan is not in the conventional Middle East, so let’s ignore the genocide there. Let’s ignore, also, the West Pakistani massacres in East Pakistan (Bangladesh) totaling 1.25 million in 1971. Or 200,000 deaths in Algeria in war between Islamists and the government in 1991-2006.

But a simple, strictly Middle East research will give you
  • one million deaths in the all-Muslim Iran-Iraq war; 
  • 300,000 Muslim minorities killed by Saddam Hussein; 
  • 80,000 Iranians killed during the Islamic revolution; 
  • 25,000 deaths in 1970-71, the days of Black September, by the Jordanian government in its fight against the Palestinians; and 
  • 20,000 Islamists killed in 1982 by the elder al-Assad in Hama. 
  • The World Health Organization’s estimate of Osama bin Laden’s carnage in Iraq was already 150,000 a few years earlier.
In a 2007 research, Gunnar Heinsohn from the University of Bremen and Daniel Pipes, director of the Middle East Forum, found out that
  • some 11 million Muslims have been violently killed since 1948
  • of which 35,000, (0.3 percent) died during the six years of Arab war against Israel, or one out of every 315 fatalities. 
  • In contrast, over 90 percent who perished were killed by fellow Muslims.
According to Mssrs. Heinsohn and Pipes, the grisly inventory finds 
  • the total number of deaths in conflicts all over the world since 1950 numbering around 85 million
  • Of that, the Muslim Arab deaths in the Arab-Israeli conflict were at 46,000 including 11,000 during Israel’s war of independence. That makes 0.05 percent of all deaths in all conflicts, or 0.4 percent of all Arab deaths in the Arab-Israeli conflict...

Strengthen Jerusalem as the United Capital of Israel

I declare that Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish People and strongly support all efforts to maintain and strengthen a united Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the State of Israel.

Click here to go to the petition web site. Sign the petition to have YOUR name added to the "Keep Jerusalem United" Banner that will be displayed throughout the city of Jerusalem 

We, the signers of the Jerusalem Declaration, affirm that Jerusalem is the capital of the Jewish People and the State of Israel. No other national or political entity has a legitimate moral, political or historical claim to Jerusalem as its capital.

The eternal connection between Jerusalem and the Jewish people is unbreakable. In biblical times (11th century BCE), Jerusalem was established as the capital of Israel by King David. Ever since, there has been a formidable Jewish presence in the city whenever historically possible. The Jewish connection to Jerusalem has been overtly proclaimed throughout the centuries when Jews worldwide declare "Next year in Jerusalem".

We support free and open access to Jerusalem for all peoples and religions, under the sovereignty of the State of Israel, and reject returning Jerusalem's status to a divided city, such as existed between 1948 and 1967. During that time, Arabs controlled the eastern section of Jerusalem and forbade non-Muslims from access to holy sites in eastern Jerusalem, including the Western Wall and the Temple Mount.

We therefore want to thank Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, for their strong support in maintaining Jerusalem as our unified capital city under Israeli rule. We urge both Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Barkat, as representatives of the People of Israel, to continue to do everything in their power to maintain and strengthen a united Jerusalem for the benefit of the State of Israel, the Jewish people and the entire world.

After September Comes October

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The decision to cut off negotiations with Israel and go to the UN in September to bid for state recognition is not going to bring the Palestinians closer to the establishment of a state. The UN is a morally bankrupt institution, totally ineffective in curing the dysfunctional Palestinian national movement. Israel, however, is united and strong enough to meet the challenge of Palestinian unilateralism.

Earlier this year, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas made the decision to cut off the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) negotiations with Israel and go to the UN in September to bid for state recognition. There, a US veto at the UN Security Council is expected, while at the UN General Assembly (GA), a large majority of its members are likely to endorse a motion recognizing a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders.  

While such a resolution is not binding according to international law, its prospects have elicited negative reactions from Israel, the US and parts of the international community who deplore the Palestinian unilateral approach and fear the consequences of UN approval. Israel’s defense minister, Ehud Barak, has even warned of an impending “diplomatic tsunami.”
These fears are greatly exaggerated. 

  • ...the UN lacks legitimacy as it is a morally bankrupt institution that gives an equal voice to the worst aggressors and human rights offenders on the globe. It is unclear how a resolution by such a powerless institution could possibly make a dent in a century-old ethnic conflict in the Holy Land. 
  • What can the UN actually do to implement the GA recommendations? ...

Unfortunately, GA resolutions cannot fix the Palestinian national movement, which is hopelessly fractured and dysfunctional... 
  • Can the UN bring Gaza and the West Bank together to present reasonable interlocutors for Israeli negotiators?
  • Can the UN mellow the Hamas lust to kill Jews and to eradicate Israel? 
  • Can it cure the Palestinians of the shaheed death culture? 
  • Is the UN in a position to infuse pragmatism into Palestinian political culture? The Palestinians still insist on the invented “right of return” for Palestinian refugees, which most of the world sees as an unrealistic demand and a huge obstacle to peace. The Palestinians are trying to rewrite history by denying Jewish history in Jerusalem. They are still not ready to concede that they lost the struggle over Jerusalem, a united capital city, which the Jews will adamantly defend. 
Israel is unquestionably stronger and time is on its side. Nevertheless, the Palestinians remain “bad losers,” not willing to make a pragmatic deal in order to achieve statehood.

The UN cannot deliver a state. It can neither change the facts on the ground, nor Palestinian behavior. The Palestinians had two historic opportunities to build a state, in 1948 and again in 1993, but both opportunities were squandered by failed leadership. Recently, we have observed somewhat more successful efforts at state building by PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. While he is arguably the best thing that has happened to the Palestinians in their short history, his popularity among his people is quite low, indicating the dysfunctional character of Palestinian politics. The images of a blooming Ramallah, the fruits of Fayyad's efforts, are misleading.

Can the PA survive without begging for international support every few months? Can it survive cutting down its bloated and corrupt bureaucracy as a prerequisite for building a healthy economy? The much lauded US-trained Palestinian troops have yet to meet the real test in the main mission of state building – monopoly over use of force. The current abundance of illegal weapons poses an extraordinary domestic security challenge for a nascent state. Can these troops be trusted to fight a serious challenge from Hamas, or will we see them collapse just as an earlier version of US-trained troops did in Gaza?

Actually, regular Israeli military incursions against Hamas infrastructure in the West Bank keep the PA safe. Moreover, access to Israel’s labor market, money transfers, and many other services are critical to the PA's daily operations. Would statehood bring the same benefits?

The PA leadership realizes that their options vis-à-vis Israel are limited and that another terrorist campaign would turn out to be extremely destructive to the Palestinians. The power differential between a democratic, prosperous and militarily strong Israel and the corrupt, autocratic and fragmented Palestinians is only growing. Israel managed to "win" the first two Intifadas and can do so again. Now it is preparing for the Palestinians’ non-violent attempt to challenge the Israeli military, which may affect Israel’s image abroad and at home.

Actually, the Palestinian UN bid is an opportunity for Israeli unilateral measures such as annexation of the settlement blocs and the Jordan rift area – necessary for establishing a defensible border along the Jordan River. 

Furthermore, Israel can implement economic sanctions to exact a cost for the violation of the Oslo agreements, which left the decision on the nature of the Palestinian entity for final status talks.  

The main challenge to Israel, however, is not on the diplomatic front where it is doing better than its critics think. The Arab world is in the throes of a socio-political crisis hardly able to do anything but pay lip-service in support of a Palestinian state. Israel’s diplomats managed to prevent an international flotilla from breaking the Gaza naval siege. Israel was also successful in procuring international understanding for its demand to be recognized by the Palestinians as a Jewish state. Furthermore, Washington is solidly behind Jerusalem on most issues, and the strategic relationship is hardly affected by differences on peace negotiations.

What is at stake, however, is Israel’s social cohesion. A united Israel behind a government perceived as doing enough for securing peace will be able to sustain protracted conflict. Netanyahu’s stable government meets these requirements. So far, a huge number of Israelis strongly believe that the Palestinians are not ready to make the necessary concessions for peace. A UN resolution is unlikely to change public opinion in Israel, which regards the UN as incompetent and hostile. Finally, the upheaval in the Arab world reiterates a great need for caution and for insistence on defensible borders.

Unless there emerges a more pragmatic Palestinian leadership, the conflict will continue to simmer. In all probability, September 2011 will be followed by October and many other months without a Palestinian state in the offing.

*The author is Professor of Political Studies at Bar-Ilan University and director of the Begin-Sadat (BESA) Center for Strategic Studies.

"The Popular Resistance Committees" Terrorist Organization

From The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, 23 August, 2011:

The Popular Resistance Committees: 
Portrait of the Terrorist Organization Responsible for the Series of Combined Terrorist Attacks North of Eilat, Israel's Southernmost City.

1. On August 18, 2011, beginning at noon, a terrorist organization operating from the Gaza Strip called the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) carried out a series of combined terrorist attacks against a number of targets, among them a number of civilian vehicles. The attacks occurred north of the Netafim crossing, about 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) north of Eilat, (Israel's southernmost city). In our assessment the terrorists came from the Gaza Strip. Eight Israelis were killed in the attacks and 30 were wounded. No organization publicly claimed responsibility, and the Popular Resistance Committees denied all connection to the terrorist attack (as they have done in similar cases in the past). However, the Israeli prime minister and other Israeli sources have indicated that the PRC was the organization which carried out the attack.

2. In response, the Israeli Air Force attacked a house in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah which served as a PRC command site where prominent members of the organization were gathered. Kamal al-Nairab (Abu Awad), commander of the PRC's main Gaza Strip faction, and two other prominent PRC terrorists were killed in the attack. Also killed were two terrorist operatives from the organization's military wing. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that "those who gave the order to murder our citizens, while hiding in Gaza, are no longer among the living."

3. Following the Israeli response, the terrorist organizations operating in the Gaza Strip attacked Israeli population centers. They fired almost 160 rockets, of which about 120 fell in Israeli territory (as of August 22). The IDF retaliated by attacking terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip. The PRC participated in the rocket attacks, claiming responsibility for the dozens of attacks on Beersheba and other southern Israeli cities. On August 22, Hamas and the PRC announced their acceptance of a lull in the fighting; however, even after the announcement several rockets were fired into Israeli territory.

4. The Popular Resistance Committees is a small terrorist organization with extensive operational capabilities. Several years ago it split into three factions, two of which collaborate with Hamas and in effect operate under its aegis. The third faction, called the Army of Islam, is affiliated with the global jihad, and carries out terrorist attacks independently, occasionally challenging Hamas and its restrained attack policy. Kamal al-Nairab and the other prominent terrorists killed in the Israeli Air Force attack on August 18 belonged to one of the PRC factions collaborating with Hamas.

5. An analysis of the PRC's modus operandi indicates a preference attacking Israel through the route of the Sinai Peninsula. Such attacks were carried out by both the PRC and Hamas even before Operation Cast Lead, and to a greater extent after it. The organizations exploited the Egyptian government's difficulty in enforcing law and order in the Sinai Peninsula (a situation which worsened after the fall of Mubarak) and were supported by a vast network of Bedouin collaborators living in Sinai.

6. Since Operation Cast Lead the importance of the indirect route through the Sinai Peninsula from the Gaza Strip to Israel has increased in the eyes of both Hamas and the PRC factions, the result of Hamas' policy of restraint within the Gaza Strip, which has usually been enforced on the terrorist organizations operating there. In the two years since Operation Cast Lead the Sinai Peninsula has served as a highway for terrorist squads of both Hamas and the PRC planning to infiltrate Israel to carry out various types of attacks (mass-murders, abduction, penetration deep into Israeli territory and firing rockets at Eilat). However, the PRC, like Hamas, has never claimed responsibility for such attacks, fearing repercussions from the Egyptian authorities.3

7. This document examines the nature and modus operandi of the PRC factions and their relations with Hamas, as follows:
1) The establishment of the PRC and its split into factions.
2) The involvement of Hamas and the PRC in terrorist activities carried out from the Sinai Peninsula, 2009-2011.
3) Various types of terrorist attacks carried out by the PRC, 2009-2011.
4) Development of the PRC's military capabilities since Operation Cast Lead.
5) PRC activity from the Gaza Strip before Operation Cast Lead.
6) PRC attempts to launch terrorist attacks against Israel from the Sinai Peninsula before Operation Cast Lead.
7) PRC cooperation with Hamas.
8) Participation of the Zakaria Dughmush faction in the Egyptian conference in support of the "option of resistance" [i.e., terrorism].

>> To download the Full Document in PDF Format Click Here >>

UNWRA schools foster terrorism

From The Winnipeg Jewish Review, August 22, 2011, by Anav Silverman*:

Teachers involved in terror attacks, curriculum that incites hatred...

...Operating under the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), UNRWA is the only UN organization responsible for one select group of refugees. While the UNHCR is mandated to “promote durable solutions” for refugees worldwide, which include such alternatives as “resettlement in third countries” UNRWA has followed a fundamentally different policy.

Throughout UNRWA’s 60 years, the agency has done nothing to promote creative resolutions to the Palestinian refugee problem. Instead, it has done everything possible to support the Palestinians’ “right of return” aspirations.

The agency has fermented a policy that seeks to maintain the Palestinians’ refugee status.

UNRWA is the only UN body that assigns the refugee definition not only to refugees but also to their descendants. Thus, from the original [400,000 -750,000; historians differ on the number] Palestinian refugees in 1948, UNRWA has now registered 4.7 million living in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza.

... the Palestinian population has been rendered totally dependent both psychologically and socially on a refugee status that was supposed to have been temporary and now defines a way of life.

This way of life is further sustained by the UNRWA education system, one of the largest in the Arab world, which does not used textbooks of its own. Instead, UNRWA schools use Palestinian Authority textbooks, which teach anti-Israel attitudes, and implicitly encourage and praise jihad against Israel while promoting the refugees’ return to 1948 homes. The Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACTSE), has analyzed these books and found that peace is not mentioned at all. Israel is presented as a usurper, occupier and aggressor, and Jews and Israelis as cunning and deceitful.

EVEN MORE disturbing is that certain members of UNRWA’s teaching staff actually carry out jihadist activities themselves.
Take for example, 
Awad al-Qiq, a respected science teacher and deputy headmaster at the Rafah Prep Boys School run by UNRWA in Gaza. Al-Qiq, who taught at UNRWA schools for eight years, worked by night as a leader of a rocket engineering squad for Islamic Jihad. In response to al- Qiq’s death in an Israeli airstrike in May 2008, Islamic Jihad praised the science teacher as a martyr who would now find ‘paradise.’ The terrorist organization hung a poster in the entrance to the UNRWA school where he taught, praising al-Qiq’s terrorist activities. His students praised his memory, as a “great educator, who departed as a great warrior.”

Although UNRWA spokesman, Chris Gunness said that there was a “zero-tolerance policy toward politics and militant activities in schools,” one can only wonder how a chief terrorist was able to work in a school system for eight years.

Another noted Hamas extremist, Sayed Seyam, was an UNRWA math and science teacher for 23 years from 1980 until 2003.

Seyam was active in the first Palestinian intifada in 1987, and oversaw rocket and mortar attacks against Israel. Another UNRWA employee, Suheil al-Hindi, an UNRWA teachers’ representative in 2003, applauded suicide bombings in a school in the Jabalya refugee camp in Gaza. 

In 2009, UNRWA’s teachers’ union voted to allow Hamas to control the curriculum both in Gaza and the West Bank.

UNRWA schools have also produced some well-known graduates, including Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, who recently condemned the US for killing Osama bin Laden, and Abd al-Aziz Rantisi, another Hamas leader. Rantisi, who attended UNRWA secondary school in Khan Younis, directed countless terrorist attacks against Israelis, and repeatedly called for the murder of American troops in Iraq.

According to Bassem Eid, director of the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group, UNRWA has many Gaza employees who belong to Hamas. Eid explains in a film produced by the Center for Near East Policy Research, Palestinian Refugee Policy: From Despair to Hope, that Hamas made clear to UNRWA that if the agency did not accept its members as employees, UNRWA would be kicked out of Gaza. “In order for UNRWA to survive, they accepted [Hamas’s] conditions because they wanted to continue their activities, to continue corrupting Palestinians...” said Eid.

With UNRWA’s annual budget of one billion dollars per year, the United States, followed by several other western countries, are the leading financial supporters. The US contributed over half a billion dollars ($560 million) from 2009-2010, followed by the European Commission. The UK, Norway, Netherlands and Spain were also among the top 10 donors of 2010.

Much of UNRWA’s budget goes to education.

According to the agency’s website, UNRWA earmarked 52 percent of it regular budget to education in 2009. Only 19 percent was given to health services and 10 percent to relief and social services that year. Arab donors provided only 1.5 percent of UNRWA’s general fund that year ($7 million).

Until UNRWA’s mandate is adjusted to conform to that of UNHCR’s ‘durable solutions,’ Palestinian children under the agency’s care will continue to be educated in a culture that promotes despair and hate in a system that works against their future.

*The writer is an educator at the Hebrew University’s Secondary School of Education in Jerusalem. She writes for a number of news sources, including the Huffington Post, Bangor Daily News, The Near East Policy Center, Sderot Media Center and others. This article first appeared in the Jerusalem Post

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Don't retaliate; pre-empt!!

From "Israel Hayom" Newsletter, Aug. 22, 2011, by Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger:

... the most effective defense against terrorism – operationally, financially and morally – is not retaliation and a limited, surgical offensive, but a comprehensive, decisive, sustained and disproportionate preemptive ground offensive, which aims to obliterate terror infrastructures and capabilities, and bring the enemy to submission. 

A decisive defeat of terrorism requires a victory over – and not coexistence or ceasefire agreements with – terrorism; uprooting – and not just stopping – terrorism.

Any response to terrorism which is short of devastating the ideological, political, financial, logistic and operational terrorist infrastructures, reassures terrorists that they are immune to annihilation. Moreover, it nurtures their hope-driven terrorism: the hope to whack Israel’s psyche of defiance, wreck Israel’s steadfastness, and sustain the 1993-2011 trend of sweeping Israeli ideological and territorial retreats.

Furthermore, a limited response to terrorism exacerbates wars of attrition – the dream of terrorists and nightmare of democratic societies. The limited-retaliation response to terrorism adds fuel to the fire of terrorism, feeds the self-defeating assumption that, supposedly, there is no military solution to terrorism, hence significantly eroding Israel’s posture of deterrence.

Contrary to that self-defeating assumption, Palestinian terrorism was curtailed by 90% - when, in 2002, Israel's military took over the Palestinian breeding ground of terrorism in Beit Jallah, Bethlehem, Hebron, Ramallah, Jenin, Nablus and other major towns in Judea & Samaria. Israeli military re-engagement with these areas ...reasserted Israel's initiative in the battle against Palestinian terrorism.

The more defensive and retaliation-driven the Israeli response to terrorism, the more emboldened are Palestinian terrorists, the less confident are Israelis in their government’s capability to safeguard personal and national security, the more taxing is mental fatigue, and the less convinced are Israelis in their cause.

The addiction to defense, and to limited response, has been embraced by Israel since signing the 1993 Oslo Accord, in order to resuscitate the “peace” process, which has triggered dramatically more hate-education, terrorism and non-compliance than the pre-Oslo reality. 250 Israelis were murdered by Palestinian terrorism in the 15 years prior to Oslo, but over 2,000 have been murdered in the 18 years since Oslo.

Limited response has also been implemented, in order to soothe international public opinion - which is never satisfied with Israeli concessions - thus recklessly subordinating national security to public diplomacy considerations. Sometimes it yields false sense of security and enhances short-term tactical popularity. However, limited response always undermines long-term strategic interests and international respect towards Israel, generating more pressure on Israel, radicalizing Palestinian terrorism and distancing the area from peace.

Will Israel’s response to the current wave of Palestinian terrorism perpetuate the terrorist-preferred war of attrition? Or, will it be a milestone on the road to reclaiming the pre-Oslo Israeli posture as the role-model of deterrence, defiance of odds, determination and gumption in the battle against terrorism, which paved the road to the 1948 Declaration of Independence, the 1967 Six Day War, the 1970 deterrence of the Syrian invasion of Jordan, the 1976 Entebbe Jonathan Operation and the 1981 bombing of Saddam’s nuclear reactor?

Rather than retreating toward the pre-1967 ceasefire lines, Israel should take charge of the breeding ground of terrorism, which would enhance Israel's power of deterrence, human-intelligence and interception capabilities. It would reduce the Palestinian capability to conduct hate-education, to incite, to recruit, to train, to manufacture and smuggle terrorist and military hardware, to plan, to maneuver and to perpetrate terrorist activities. It would reduce Palestinian terrorism by 90%!

Ehud Yaari on Iran's Gaza Missile Gambit

Monday, August 22, 2011

Tough decisions on terror

From Word from Jerusalem, August 22, 2011, by Isi Leibler:

The latest terrorist attack...may easily have resulted in a far greater number of casualties, but the ongoing barrage of missiles threatens to broaden into a much wider conflict.

Emboldened by the overthrow of Mubarak and empowered by the flow of arms across the Egyptian borders, the jihadists are testing our mettle. Hamas also succeeded in intensifying hostility between us and the new Egyptian regime.

In the days and weeks ahead, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will be facing some difficult decisions. While his initial response to the attacks - the deadliest since he assumed office - cannot be faulted, his boast that terrorism would always be contained under his watch will now be put to the test.

Israel's will to react firmly to this provocation will signal whether we retain the ability to deter Hamas from future attacks.

The Sinai Peninsula is rapidly becoming a scorpion's den for radical Islamists, including Al Qaida-inspired factions. The border with Egypt, which had been relatively stable, is now clearly porous, and represents a new entry point for terrorists who now move freely from Gaza to Sinai. The extent of the disastrous decision of the Sharon government to cede control of the Philadelphi Corridor can only now be understood. The IDF is therefore investing major additional resources to beef up the IDF presence and construct a 200-km security fence on the Egyptian border.

If we exercise genuine deterrence, we will undoubtedly face additional global pressure. After receiving ritualistic condolences, we are already being urged to display restraint. When Hezbollah-controlled Lebanon (a rotating member of the UN Security Council) prevented a condemnation of the most recent terrorist attacks, the UN Security Council even dispensed with condemning the outrage.

More significantly, we are also likely to find ourselves at total loggerheads with the Obama Administration. The enormous - but fortunately unsuccessful - efforts exerted by the Americans to force us to make a groveling apology to Turkey over the flotilla reflects the extent the current Administration is willing to humiliate its closest allies to appease the Islamists. Now we may soon encounter threats to withhold the US veto on Palestinian statehood at the UN unless we display "restraint" - a code word for not exercising genuine deterrence.

But even if most of the world, including the hypocritical and sanctimonious Europeans, condemn us for responding in a "disproportionate" manner, the security of our citizens must remain our priority.

DEFENSE MINISTER Ehud Barak, with his consistent record of making empty threats in the wake of terrorist incidents, will undoubtedly seek to persuade the Prime Minister to act with "restraint." Our delusionary Left will also urge us not to "force Hamas into a corner."

Should Prime Minister Netanyahu succumb to these pressures, we will undoubtedly again undergo a cycle of lethal attacks met by hollow threats, which would inevitably be followed by increased terror, until our lives become unbearable, and we are once more obliged to launch a war to defend our citizens.

Tough and immediate military responses are thus required to deter future attacks.

Hamas leaders must be made aware that for failing to rein in the terror, their own political/military leaders will be targeted for assassination.

We must do more than weep for our victims. Israel should have no inhibitions in depicting our murderous enemies as barbarians, and drawing attention to the spontaneous public celebrations in areas under PA and Hamas jurisdiction every time there's news of an Israeli being murdered. And when spokesmen for our "peace partner," like senior PA official Nabil Shaath, issue press releases condemning us for committing "war crimes" by responding to the murders, Israel should demand that the US condemn such statements and extract an apology.

We must make the American people and Congress understand that deterrence is defense, not revenge, and that irrespective of the negative political repercussions, our government must protect its citizens. This should also be an opportune time to draw the attention of the American people to the implications for Israel of the "Arab Spring," and the consequences if we give in to President Obama's pressure, accept the 1949 armistice lines with swaps, and subsequently find ourselves surrounded by Hamastan and jihadists.

INDEED, WITH the impending Egyptian elections in which the genocidal Muslim Brotherhood - creators of Hamas - will emerge as a highly influential force, prospects for border stability will become even shakier. Israel's fraying relationship with Egypt, and the explosive atmosphere over the terrorist attack reflect the rising influence of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Egyptian army will of course seek to maintain the immense subsidies it receives from the US. But unless the Administration threatens to suspend payments, the Egyptian army is likely to simply stand aside and give the Jihadists a free hand, as long as they concentrate their attacks on Israel. Regrettably, the Obama Administration hardly has a positive track record of acting appropriately in this climate. But Congress could assume an important role.

There is a genuine risk that tough responses by us may lead to greater regional turbulence. But the alternative - not exercising deterrence - will most certainly erode our security if the Jihadists are able to continue their terror attacks and launch missiles against our citizens with impunity. Our lives would become unbearable and we would once again be forced into a full-blown conflict.

Gaddafi threatened, but will his downfall bring stability?

Rebel fighters streamed into the outskirts of Tripoli on Sunday with little sign of resistance, despite a call by Muammar Gaddafi for citizens to take up arms and save his 41-year-old regime from annihilation.

A convoy of rebels entered a western neighborhood of the city firing their weapons into the air, a witness said. Sky television said some fighters were only 8 km (five miles) from the center and were being welcomed by civilians pouring into the streets.

Thousands of rebel fighters were seen earlier in the day 20 km (12 miles) west of the city center, aiming to join fighters inside who began an uprising late on Saturday, a Reuters correspondent said.

"I am afraid if we don't act, they will burn Tripoli," Gaddafi said in an audio address broadcast on state television. "There will be no more water, food, electricity or freedom."

Bursts of gunfire and blasts from rocket-propelled grenades rang out near a hotel in Tripoli where foreign media are staying, a Reuters correspondent in the hotel said.

In a coordinated revolt that rebels have been secretly planning for months to end Gaddafi's 41-year rule, shooting started on Saturday night across Tripoli moments after Muslim clerics, using the loudspeakers of mosque minarets, called people on to the streets.

The fighting inside Tripoli, combined with rebel advances into the outskirts of the city, appeared to signal the decisive phase in a six-month conflict that has become the bloodiest of the "Arab Spring" uprisings and embroiled NATO powers.

...A Libyan government official told Reuters that 376 people on both sides of the conflict were killed in fighting overnight on Saturday in Tripoli, with about 1,000 others wounded.

"Gaddafi's chances for a safe exit are diminishing by the hour," said Ashour Shamis, a Libyan opposition activist and editor based in Britain.

But Gaddafi's fall, after four decades in power, is far from certain. His security forces did not buckle, and the city is much bigger than anything the mostly amateur anti-Gaddafi fighters, with their scavenged weapons and mismatched uniforms, have ever tackled.

If the Libyan leader is forced from power, there are question marks over whether the opposition can restore stability in this oil exporting country. The rebels' own ranks have been racked by disputes and rivalry...

Glenn Beck is Correct on the Middle East

From The Rubin Report, Sunday, August 21, 2011:

...Glenn Beck, who is holding several rallies in Israel this week, has a better grasp of Middle East politics than most Western experts, not to mention Western leaders.

Certainly, Beck makes silly mistakes on factual matters and details. Yet what’s important is that he comprehends the big picture. ...When people voice absurd and slanderous stereotypes about Beck, it turns out they haven’t actually listened to what he’s been saying.

Why has Beck gotten things right that so many others have missed or distorted? There are five key reasons: Common sense; courage; knowing the difference between right and wrong, willingness to learn, and readiness to admit when one has been wrong. These are virtues often lacking among those with more elegant reputations and impressive diplomas.

What has he gotten right?

1. The main threat in the Middle East is revolutionary Islamism and the United States must combat it.

Revolutionary Islamism includes on its side: Iran, Syria, Hizballah (largely controlling Lebanon), Hamas (governing the Gaza Strip), and the Muslim Brotherhood as well as al-Qaida and, more subtly, the regime governing Turkey. It is an ideology innately hostile to the West, the United States, and Israel. It cannot be bought off or moderated. Revolutionary Islamists will either take over the Middle East or be defeated.

2. The problem is not Islam as a religion but revolutionary Islamism as a political ideology that draws on normative Islam to produce its own plausible interpretation.

While falsely accused of “Islamophobia,” Beck has correctly drawn the distinction between Islam and revolutionary Islamism. Those claiming Islam is “a religion of peace” miss the radicalism easily drawn from its texts as well as the large and growing Islamist forces. Those claiming Islam is inherently extremist miss most of its actual history and the tremendous battle going on among Muslims,

3. The revolutionary Islamist side is winning.

In the last year, revolutionary Islamism has advanced in Egypt, the Gaza Strip, Lebanon, Turkey, and potentially Syria, Libya, and Tunisia.

4. The “Arab Spring” contains many dangers.

The unqualified Western enthusiasm for the “Arab Spring” ignored the threat of growing Islamist power. ...Even now, many are in denial about the Brotherhood becoming Egypt’s strongest single party in parliament and in writing the country’s new constitution. The regime that emerges might not be Islamist but will be radical, anti-American, and dangerously hostile toward Israel.

5. Israel just happens to be largely right and deserves support

Israel has been in a “Twilight Zone” situation. Eighteen years ago, Israel took a tremendous risk for peace by signing an agreement with the PLO, agreeing to establish an armed Palestinian Authority, and negotiating toward the creation of a Palestinian state, Not to mention later offering the Golan Heights to Syria in exchange for peace, withdrawing from south Lebanon, the Gaza Strip, and much of the West Bank.

Yet the more risks for peace Israel took, the more concessions made, the more restraint shown, the more it was slandered and said not to want peace. The more Israel sought a two-state solution, the more people in the West advocated a “no-Israel-state” solution. Beck has cut through this nonsense to point out a simple fact: Israel wants a negotiated compromise and stable peace based on a two-state solution; the Palestinian Authority—not to mention Hamas—doesn’t.

6. One Man’s Terrorist…Is Still a Terrorist

There is no romanticism in the deliberate murder of civilians, systematic incitement of hatred, and goal of establishing a totalitarian society...

7. The Obama Administration has messed up the Middle East to a phenomenal extent...

8. One should be fearless in facing intimidation and politically motivated ridicule...

9. We must reevaluate friends and enemies in this new era of revolutionary Islamism and post-Marxist leftism...

10. Whatever mistakes the United States has made it is a good country and is the hope of the world...

Any criticism one can make of Beck regarding Middle East issues rather pales in comparison to all of the above points on which he is quite correct. But then, as Jews, and Israelis most of all, should know, to be falsely reviled and have one’s image smeared is not proof of being wrong or evil.

Tehran pulls strings of Gaza missile war, proxy Jihad Islami leads offensive

From a DEBKAfile Exclusive ReportAugust 21, 2011:

Iran's trap for Israel on the Eilat Highway

... Iran and Hizballah ...planned, orchestrated and funded the coordinated attacks on the Eilat Highway Thursday, Aug. 18 - in which gunmen shot dead eight Israelis and injured 40 - and its sequel: volleys of 90 missiles launched day and night from Gaza against a million Israeli civilians since then.

Yossi Shoshan, 38, from Ofakim, was killed by one of the dozen Grad missiles hitting Beersheba and his home town Saturday night. More than a dozen people were injured, at least one critically.

The prime mover in the missile blitz is Tehran's Palestinian arm, the Jihad Islami, which is responsible for 90 percent of the launches. Hamas is left on the sidelines, cut off for the first time from top levels of authority in Tehran and Damascus.

...Tehran managed to transfer to its Palestinian arm in Gaza, the Jihad Islami, more than 10,000 missiles well in advance of the violence launched three days ago. Most of them are heavy Grads bringing Beersheba, capital of the Negev and Israel's 7th largest town (pop. 200,000), within their 30-kilometer range for a sustained, massive missile offensive.

Tehran has now launched the hardware smuggled into the Gaza Strip ready for a Middle East war offensive for five objectives:
1. To leave Syrian President Bashar Assad free to continue brutalizing his population and ignoring President Barack Obama's demand backed by Europe that he step down.
2. To manufacture a direct military threat on the Jewish state, whose destruction is a fundamental of the Islamic Republic of Iran's ideology.
3.  To thwart the Egyptian military junta's operation last week for regaining control of the lawless Sinai Peninsula and destroying the vast weapons smuggling network serving Iran in its capacity as the leading international sponsor of terror.
4.  To render the Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and his bid for UN recognition of an independent state on Sept. 20 irrelevant.  His isolation was brought home to him last Thursday by the coordinated Palestinian terrorist attacks near Eilat last Thursday.
5.  To plant ticking bombs around Israel for potential detonation and explosion into a full-blown regional war.
debkafile's Washington sources disclose that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton outlined this peril to Egypt's military ruler, Field Marshall Muhammad Tantawi, Saturday night, Aug. 20, to dissuade him from recalling the Egyptian ambassador to Israel over the deaths of three or five Egyptian police in the melee over the Palestinian terror attack near the Sinai border.

This danger was on the table of Israel's inner cabinet of eight ministers when they met early Sunday to decide on IDF action for terminating the Palestinian missile war.

... three facts stand out from the fog of uncertainty:

First, the security crisis besetting Israel has the dangerous potential for dragging the Middle East into a regional war.

Second, America and Israel are paying in full the price of their quiescence in the face of Iranian, Hizballah and extremist Palestinian belligerence and active preparations for war, including the stockpiling of thousands of increasingly sophisticated weaponry on Israel's borders.

Third, the first step an Israeli soldier or tank takes into the Gaza Strip to silence Jihad Islami's  missile fire is more likely than not to precipitate a second Iranian-orchestrated assault on another of Israel's borders.

Sunday morning, no one in any of the capitals concerned was ready to risk guesstimating how far Tehran was ready to go in its current offensive and what orders Hizballah and its Palestinian puppets had received.