Saturday, August 24, 2013

If political Islam is not stopped now in the Middle East, it will explode in the West.

From, 21 August 2013, by Ali Salim:
...The mood in the Middle East is rapidly changing. ... significant dangers are stalking the Arab-Muslim world.
Arabic TV, especially Al-Jazeera, has been broadcasting programs asking if bloodshed is the only mission of Islam, and if jihad [war in the service of Islam] still motivates believers to invade other countries with abandon and indulge in worldwide slaughter.
Given the current situation, the Middle East is obsessed with asking itself: Who is responsible for the Muslims' catastrophe? And what keeps us chained behind, while the rest of the world forges ahead in social, economic and technological progress? Needless to say, the imams do not blame themselves. They claim that to change the situation we need only more and closer study and practice of the Islamic faith.
As always, our Islamic society, constantly at odds with itself, blames everyone for our misfortunes. In the days of the Prophet (S.A.A.S.), we blamed the Jews of Khaybar in the Arabian Peninsula for our ills. Now the imams who head the militant Islamist organizations tell us that the Jews, a tiny people who pose no threat to the might of Islam, are responsible for all our ills and for all our failures.
Islamic radicals, however, hate not only the Jews but also the Christians, who have become, we are told, our sworn enemies. Christianity, like Judaism, is also vilified. The history of our hatred for the Christians began with the Crusades, and over the years the same hated Crusaders became the hated European imperialists and the hated colonialists.
The hatred for the Christian West is founded on a sense of deprivation, of humiliation and inferiority, of being threatened and exploited, all of which cast doubt on the eternal message of Islam as the only up-to-date religion, destined to rule the world and invalidate the other religions. The Islamic sages who interpret the will of Allah say that both Christianity as well as Judaism, while monotheistic, are anachronistic, and while temporarily they can exist -- with the patronage of, and overshadowed by, Islam -- eventually all Christians and Jews will convert to Islam.
Islam's openly-stated desire to control the world is now light-years away from its current wretched plight. The Muslims' low self-image not only makes us self-destructive, but leads to the desire to destroy anyone who succeeds, even if it means destroying ourselves as well. The unique prosperity and power of the Jews in Palestine, compared with the slaughter, poverty and backwardness of their Arab neighbors, create antagonism, jealousy, rage and an increasingly murderous desire for "revenge" among Muslims still under the heady influence of the Arab Spring and incited by the sheikhs of the Muslim Brotherhood.
The imams in the mosques brainwash the masses, claiming that Islam's real enemies are the Christians, "the Crusaders," manipulated by the Jews who control them. Attempting to fool the leaders of the Christian West and weaken Israel, the Islamists sugarcoat the real situation and tell the Christians that all they have to do is solve the Palestinian problem. Once that has happened, the artificial Jewish existence in Palestine will come to an end, the entire Middle East will metamorphose into paradise and blossom, and everyone will live in harmony forever. Unfortunately, many Europeans have swallowed this tale whole. In the meantime, however, when not speaking to the West and telling each other the truth, the Islamists repeat the ancient adage, "We will begin on Saturday and finish on Sunday," that is, first we will get rid of the Jews and then we will get rid of the Christians -- as we are seeing now in Nigeria, Iraq and especially Egypt.

Prince Tadros church in Minya, recently torched by Islamists.
... Islamic terrorists, inspired and goaded on by the preaching of their leaders, blow up planes, embassies, towers, subways and skyscrapers to cause untold casualties. Dispatched by their imams, they go on rampages of slaughter and bloodshed in the name of Allah, and brainwash and recruit Islamic youths as their successors to ensure future terrorism and violence.
Much of the Islamist sheikhs' activity focuses on brainwashing within the Islamic communities in the West, where many have found a haven. There, they have formed enclaves where they nurture terrorism and violence, and,when the time comes, from where they will break out of their ghettos to overwhelm their tolerant hosts who generously and freely accepted them into Western Europe and America.
The leaders of the Western world stubbornly claim, as the European Union did of Hezbollah, that there is a difference between religious and political Islamic leaders but these well-meaning Westerners will pay dearly for making the distinction. The West's political correctness and refusal to listen to and believe what the political Islamist leadership openly says -- and its refusal to defend itself -- will lead to catastrophe. For us Arabs it is not just wordplay: when someone tells you he means to kill you, he means to kill you.
Innocence, willful ignorance and complete lack of understanding of both the Arab and Muslim mentality and its operational codes have misled the West into either patronizing Islamism and stupidly trying to dictate to its leaders, or into simply fearing it. Every single American attempt to bring Western-like democracy to the Arab-Muslim world has failed abysmally and led only to radical Islamist regimes as, for example, in Iran and Egypt. The same is true for the European declarations against the "undemocratic" involvement of the army in the government in Turkey. These brought on the Islamist regime of Erdogan, who jailed the Turkish army's senior officers, who had maintained the balance achieved by Ataturk in restraining radical Islam. The flight of the Americans from Yemen following intelligence warnings regarding al-Zawahiri and Al-Qaeda brought Al-Qaeda greater success than any genuine terrorist attack could have done.
While the legacy of Islam and its Prophet are hardwired into the consciousness of every da'wah [religious outreach] activist, and dictate that all means -- terrorism, violence, deceit -- are justified to overcome the enemy, the Americans still seem to have incomprehensible trouble believing that radical Islam means exactly what it says. American impotence in the face of Iranian intransigence and renewed Russian power, as well as the lack of support for the Sisi government in Egypt, will lead to a regional disaster.
America must give up its dreams of a democratic happy ending for the Middle East and start looking reality in the face. Once and for all, Americans need to internalize a fact: Western interests are in danger of being attacked and destroyed by both foreign and domestic enemies. The calls for America to ignore and distance itself from the events in the Middle East will eventually pave the way for a violent, full blown, powerful invasion of both Europe and the United States. If political Islam is not stopped now in the Middle East, it will, when the tipping point has been reached, explode in the West.
It is no longer possible, when faced with the challenges of radical Islam, to pursue a policy of weakness or to support democratic processes which correspond only to American values.
The Islamists have now started on Sunday: the Christians are in their crosshairs, and when they have finished, the Islamists will return to Saturday and destroy the Jews. The Zionists in Israel understand the threats of radical Islam and its intentions for their country far better than the U.S. administration will ever be able to. The Jews do not fear to show their determination and willingness to fight a life-and-death battle for their continued existence; it is that determination which has made the Islamists avoid confronting them for the present and target the Christians instead.
What is unreal are the dictates America imposes on Israel, including the demand to release convicted murderers from jail and to reach an agreement with Mahmoud Abbas, who does not have the support of the Palestinian people. This approach will lead to a Hamas takeover of the West Bank and most likely then of Jordan; and it will destroy what is left of the Christian community in Bethlehem and east Jerusalem, whose members after the Oslo Accords and the withdrawal of Israel from the territories, were killed, raped and threatened into fleeing their homes.
The Christians in the Middle East are in danger of annihilation. If the Islamic fanatics collaborating with the so-called "Free Syrian Army" overthrow Assad, the Christians, who are part of the minority coalition in the Syrian regime, will be subjected to an unimaginable slaughter that in all probability will spread to Lebanon. Thus in trying to stabilize the region, the West should reconsider its policies in dealing with Russia when it comes to Syria and nuclear Iran with its proxy Hezbollah.
A tougher line also needs to be taken with Egypt. If the Muslim Brotherhood succeeds in overthrowing the provisional government of President Mansour and General Sisi, there will be a bloodbath not only of Western values but of the Copts -- the original inhabitants of Egypt now being brutalized out of their historic home. Christians, who openly supported the recent events that ousted the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi, had their churches burned and believers killed by Muslims even years before the most recent events. Now, museums and a tenth of the churches in Egypt have been burned. Morsi's followers do not forget that the Copts aligned themselves with the new government and against Morsi, and have recently begun beheading Coptic businessmen in the Sinai Peninsula, which was a tourist attraction when under the control of Israel. It is now a center for attacking the Copts, robbing them of their property and forcing them to flee. However, if Friday is dealt with properly, a more optimistic sun will rise over Saturday and Sunday.

PA Negotiators Don’t Want to Be Alone with Israel Negotiators

From Commentary magazine, 22 August 2013, by Jonathan S. Tobin:

There’s supposed to be a news blackout from the reconvened Middle East peace talks going on this week. The Palestinians insisted on that lest their reluctant negotiators be branded as doing something that smacked of legitimizing the Jewish state. But one of their team broke their silence this week in order to complain about the fact that they have been called upon to actually talk one on one with their Israeli counterparts:
...Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the PLO Executive Committee, told The Times of Israel “These are not two-way negotiations...”
...Asked why she believed the Israelis would request the removal of a party favorable to them, Ashrawi said “they feel they can exploit their power over the Palestinians.”
In saying this, Ashrawi couldn’t have told us more about the negotiations had she produced a transcript. Nor could she have given us a better indication of just how dim the chances of success for this effort are.
The Palestinian fear of being trapped in a room with the people they are supposed to be crafting a deal with has nothing to do with fear of Israeli power. It’s all about the fact that the last thing they want is to actually reach an agreement they’d have to justify to a Palestinian people that is still not ready to accept a Jewish state no matter its borders are drawn.

In one sense, Ashrawi’s desire to keep U.S. envoy Martin Indyk in the room is understandable. Contrary to her claim, far from being inclined to bolster the positions of the Netanyahu government, his clear bias is one that that leads him to push for Israel to make concessions to the Palestinians.
But that’s not the real explanation.
It’s not exactly a secret that the ardent desire of Tzipi Livni, the head of the Israeli delegation, is to entice the Palestinians to embrace peace after three times rejecting offers of statehood that would include a share of Jerusalem and almost all of the West Bank. Supposedly that’s exactly what the Palestinians want, although they insist they will never compromise on forcing every Jew out of not only every settlement but the parts of Jerusalem that were illegally occupied by Jordan from 1949 to 1967.
... the continuing stream of invective about Jews and Israel pouring out of the official Palestinian media and the so-called moderates of Fatah makes it hard to believe they are finally ready to take yes for an answer. Since PA leader Mahmoud Abbas seems no more capable or willing to accept the peace that he rejected in 2008 when he fled negotiations with Ehud Olmert convened by then Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, his primary fear is not the Israeli intransigence the Jewish state’s critics bewail but that Livni will give him what he says he wants.
The Palestinians never wanted to come back to the table after four years’ absence. But with the U.S. prepared to put the screws to Israel to gratify Secretary of State John Kerry’s desire for the talks, it was impossible for them to say no once the Americans gave them the preconditions they demanded. But that doesn’t mean Abbas wants a happy ending to this negotiation. Not only do the Palestinians want the Americans to do their negotiating for them, but their primary objective is to avoid being trapped in a room with someone like Livni who is obviously desperate to agree to any deal.
While there is no telling for certain what will happen in the upcoming months, this is yet one more indication that the main Palestinian objective in the negotiations is to never be maneuvered into a position where they would have to either say yes to peace or reject it and take the blame. Stay tuned for months of pre-emptive Palestinian efforts to deflect the blame for the futile nature of this fool’s errand that Kerry has embarked upon.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

US should ally with Russia, China and Saudi Arabia to defeat the Muslim Brotherhood

From Spengler, 19 August 2014:
...The pipe-dream has popped of Egyptian democracy led by a Muslim Brotherhood weaned from its wicked past, but official Washington has not woken up. Egypt was on the verge of starvation when military pushed out Mohammed Morsi. Most of the Egyptian poor had been living on nothing but state-subsidized bread for months, and even bread supplies were at risk. The military brought in US$12 billion of aid from the Gulf States, enough to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. That’s the reality. It’s the one thing that Russia, Saudi Arabia and Israel agree about.
America’s whimsical attitude towards Egypt is not a blunder but rather a catastrophic institutional failure. President Obama has surrounded himself with a camarilla, with Susan Rice as National Security Advisor, flanked by Valerie Jarrett, the Iranian-born public housing millionaire. Compared to Obama’s team, Zbigniew Brzezinski was an intellectual colossus at Jimmy Carter’s NSC.

These are amateurs, and it is anyone’s guess what they will do from one day to the next.
By default, Republican policy is defined by Senator John McCain, whom the head of Egypt’s ruling National Salvation Party dismissed as a “senile old man” after the senator’s last visit to Cairo. McCain’s belief in Egyptian democracy is echoed by a few high-profile Republican pundits, for example, Reuel Marc Gerecht, Robert Kagan, and Max Boot. Most of the Republican foreign policy community disagrees, by my informal poll. Former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld blasted Obama for undermining the Egyptian military’s ability to keep order, but his statement went unreported by major media.
It doesn’t matter what the Republican experts think. Few elected Republicans will challenge McCain, because the voters are sick of hearing about Egypt and don’t trust Republicans after the debacles in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Neither party has an institutional capacity for intelligent deliberation about American interests. Among the veterans of the Reagan and Bush administrations, there are many who understand clearly what is afoot in the world, but the Republican Party is incapable of acting on their advice. That is why the institutional failure is so profound. Republican legislators live in terror of a primary challenge from isolationists like Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), and will defer to the Quixotesque McCain.
Other regional and world powers will do their best to contain the mess.
Russia and Saudi Arabia might be the unlikeliest of partners, but they have a profound common interest in containing jihadist radicalism in general and the Muslim Brotherhood in particular. Both countries backed Egypt’s military unequivocally.
Russia Today reported August 7 that “Saudi Arabia has reportedly offered to buy arms worth up to $15 billion from Russia, and provided a raft of economic and political concessions to the Kremlin – all in a bid to weaken Moscow’s endorsement of Syrian President Bashar Assad.”
No such thing will happen, to be sure. But the Russians and Saudis probably will collaborate to prune the Syrian opposition of fanatics who threaten the Saudi regime as well as Russian security interests in the Caucasus. Chechnyan fighters – along with jihadists from around the world – are active in Syria, which has become a petrie dish for Islamic radicalism on par with Afghanistan during the 1970s.
The Saudis, meanwhile, have installed Chinese missiles aimed at Iran. There are unverifiable reports that Saudi Arabia already has deployed nuclear weapons sourced from Pakistan. The veracity of the reports is of small relevance; if the Saudis do not have such weapons now, they will acquire them if and when Iran succeeds in building nuclear weapons.
What seems clear is that Riyadh is relying not on Washington but on Beijing for the capacity to deliver nuclear weapons. China has a profound interest in Saudi security. It is the largest importer of Saudi oil. America might wean itself of dependence on imported oil some time during the next decade, but China will need the Persian Gulf for the indefinite future.
A Russian-Chinese-Saudi condominium of interests has been in preparation for more than a year. On July 30, 2012, I wrote (for the Gatestone Institute):
The fact is that the Muslim Brotherhood and its various offshoots represent a threat to everyone in the region:
The Saudi monarchy fears that the Brotherhood will overthrow it (not an idle threat, since the Brotherhood doesn’t look like a bad choice for Saudis who aren’t one of the few thousand beneficiaries of the royal family’s largesse;
The Russians fear that Islamic radicalism will get out of control in the Caucasus and perhaps elsewhere as Russia evolves into a Muslim-majority country;
The Chinese fear the Uyghurs, a Turkic Muslim people who comprise half the population of China’s western Xinjiang province.
But the Obama administration (and establishment Republicans like John McCain) insist that America must support democratically elected Islamist governments. That is deeply misguided. The Muslim Brotherhood is about as democratic as the Nazi Party, which also won a plebiscite confirming Adolf Hitler as leader of Germany. Tribal countries with high illiteracy rates are not a benchmark for democratic decision-making … As long as the United States declares its support for the humbug of Muslim democracy in Egypt and Syria, the rest of the world will treat us as hapless lunatics and go about the business of securing their own interests without us.
The Turks, to be sure, will complain about the fate of their friends in the Muslim Brotherhood, but there is little they can do. The Saudis finance most of their enormous current account deficit, and the Russians provide most of their energy.
Apart from the Egyptian events, American analysts have misread the world picture thoroughly.
On the American right, the consensus view for years held that Russia would implode economically and demographically. Russia’s total fertility rate, though, has risen from a calamitously low point of less than 1.2 live births per female in 1990 to about1.7 in 2012, midway between Europe’s 1.5 and America’s 1.9. There is insufficient evidence to evaluate the trend, but it suggests that it is misguided to write Russia off for the time being. Not long ago, I heard the Russian chess champion and democracy advocate Gary Kasparov tell a Republican audience that Russia would go bankrupt if oil fell below $80 a barrel – an arithmetically nonsensical argument, but one the audience wanted to hear. Like it or not, Russia won’t go away.
American analysts view Russia’s problems with Muslims in the Caucasus with a degree of Schadenfreude. During the 1980s the Reagan administration supported jihadists in Afghanistan against the Russians because the Soviet Union was the greater evil. Today’s Russia is no friend of the United States, to be sure, but Islamist terrorism is today’s greater evil, and the United States would be well advised to follow the Saudi example and make common cause with Russia against Islamism.
In the case of China, the consensus has been that the Chinese economy would slow sharply this year, causing political problems. China’s June trade data suggest quite the opposite: a surge in imports (including a 26% year-on-year increase in iron ore and a 20% increase in oil) indicate that China is still growing comfortably in excess of 7% a year. China’s transition from an export model driven by cheap labor to a high-value-added manufacturing and service economy remains an enormous challenge, perhaps the biggest challenge in economic history, but there is no evidence to date that China is failing. Like it or not, China will continue to set the pace for world economic growth.
America, if it chose to exercise its power and cultivate its innate capabilities, still is capable of overshadowing the contenders. But it has not chosen to do so, and the reins have slipped out of Washington’s hands.
...Now the dogs of war are loose and will choose their own direction. You don’t need foreign policy analysts any more. You can hear the dogs bark if you open the window.

America’s presence in the Middle East has imploded.

From Spengler, 15 August 2013:
... the Egyptian military is doing America’s dirty work, suppressing a virulently anti-modern, anti-Semitic and anti-Western Islamist movement whose leader, Mohammed Morsi, famously referred to Israelis as “apes and pigs.” It did so with the enthusiastic support of tens of millions of Egyptians who rallied in the streets in support of the military. And the American mainstream reacted with an ideological knee jerk.
America’s presence in the Middle East has imploded.
 As it happens, Iran already is smuggling weapons via Syria to the West Bank to gain leverage against the Abbas government, as Stratfor reports (hat tip: the Daily Alert), including surface-to-air and anti-tank missiles. Hamas crushed Fatah in the 2006 West Bank  parliamentary elections 74-45, and made short work of the supposedly moderate Palestinian faction when it seized power in Gaza in 2007. As Syria disintegrates, along with Iraq and Lebanon, the artificial borders of Arab states drawn first by Ottoman conquerors and revised by British and French colonial authorities will have small meaning. Palestinians caught up in the Syrian and and Lebanese conflagrations will pour into a new Palestinian state and swell the ranks of the hard-core Jihadi irredentists. Iran will continue to use Hamas as a cat’s paw.
Among other things, the American response to the events in Egypt shows the utter pointlessness of American security guarantees in the present negotiations between Israel and the Palestine Authority.
... I do not think [Abbas] has any intention of making peace with Israel. But American blundering in Egypt has closed out the option, for whoever makes peace with Israel will require a free hand with Iranian-backed rejectionists.
... There are numerous wars which do not end until all the young men who want to fight to the death have had the opportunity to do so. And of all of history’s conflicts, none was so likely to end with this sort of demographic attrition as the present war in the Middle East. Compared to the young Arabs, Persians and Pakistanis of today, American Southerners of 1861 were models of middle-class rectitude, with the world’s highest living standards and bright prospects for the future. The Europeans of 1914 stood at the cusp of modernity; one only can imagine what they might have accomplished had they not committed mutual suicide in two World Wars.
Today’s Middle Eastern and South Asian Muslims have grim future prospects. The world economy has left them behind, and they cannot catch up. Egypt was at the threshold of starvation and economic collapse when the military intervened, bringing in subsidies from the Gulf monarchies. The young men of the Middle East have less to lose, perhaps, than any generation in any country in modern times. As we observe in Syria, large numbers of them will fight to the death.
...America’s credibility in the Middle East, thanks to the delusions of both parties, is broken, and it cannot be repaired within the time frame required to forestall the next stage of violence. Egypt’s military and its Saudi backers are aghast at American stupidity. Israel is frustrated by America’s inability to understand that Egypt’s military is committed to upholding the peace treaty with Israel while the Muslim Brotherhood wants war. Both Israel and the Gulf States observe the utter fecklessness of Washington’s efforts to contain Iran’s nuclear weapons program.
The events of the past week have demonstrated that America’s allies in the Middle East from Israel to the Persian Gulf can trust no one in Washington — neither Barack Obama nor John McCain...

The Muslim Brothers are Nazis

From Spengler, 14 August 2013:

...Suppose the German military had overthrown the democratically-elected leader of Germany and massacred his loyal followers, say, in 1936? The world, presumably, would have condemned the blatant use of force against an elected leader even if, hypothetically, a third of the German population already had taken to the streets to demand Hitler’s ouster.
The Muslim Brothers are Nazis bearing a crescent rather than a swastika.
... in the case of the Muslim Brotherhood, a useful reminder is to read once again Paul Berman’s 2007 New Republic essay and his 2010 book, The Flight of the Intellectuals, which expanded it. Archivists have brought to light the wartime German Foreign Ministry broadcasts that created modern Islamist ideology and in particular its ferocious Jew-hatred. For the details, read Berman.  Here is one citation from Berman’s essay worth pondering:
There is nothing especially novel or bizarre in noticing that [Muslim Brotherhood leader] al-Banna displayed an eager interest in the aesthetic cult of death. The classic history of the Muslim Brotherhood, The Society of the Muslim Brothers, by Richard P. Mitchell, which appeared in 1969, was quite lucid on this topic even then. Al-Banna came up with a double phrase about the importance of death as a goal of jihad—“the art of death” (fann al-mawt) and “death is art” (al-mawt fann). This phrase became, in Mitchell’s description, a famous part of al-Banna’s legacy. Stringing together his own paraphrases with al-Banna’s words, Mitchell wrote: “The Qur’an has commanded people to love death more than life” (which, I might add, is a phrase that we have heard more than once in terrorist statements during the last few years, for instance in the videotape that was made by the Islamist group that attacked Madrid in 2004). And al-Banna continued, in Mitchell’s presentation: “Unless the philosophy of the Qur’an on death replaces the love of life which has consumed Muslims, they will reach naught. Victory can only come with the mastery of the art of death.”
Read Berman before you weep for the fate of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Egypt’s Military: Doing What Germany’s Should Have Done in 1933

From the Intercollegiate Review, 16 August 2013, by Robert Reilly:

Thirty million people in the streets of Egypt, with the help of the Egyptian military, have saved the United States from the consequences of its disastrous policy of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood since President Barack Obama came to office. 
Just months after his inauguration in 2009, Mr. Obama appeared in Cairo to address the Muslim world. He ensured that members of the Muslim Brotherhood were seated in the front row of the auditorium at Cairo University. Since the group was still officially banned in Egypt, no one from President Hosni Mubarak’s administration could attend. The message from the seating arrangement was unmistakable: even at the price of snubbing his official host, Mr. Obama recognized the Muslim Brotherhood as a legitimate player in Egyptian politics. Already, this was clearly interference in the internal affairs of the Egyptian state.
Former British ambassador Charles Crawford later characterized Obama’s quixotic address in the following way: “It boiled down to a well delivered speech full of clever emollient phrases that ultimately sent a message of appeasement to militant Islamist tendencies: Under my restrained leadership the United States will respect and accept conservative forms of Islam. Even if Islamism gets too aggressive we don’t plan to do much about it.”
Why would the United States want to give the green light to militant Islam? Wasn’t militant Islam, after all, the problem? Of course, President Obama has never publicly admitted that it is as a form of the “violent extremism” he opposes. But perhaps the Obama administration thought there was no alternative, or perhaps it was simply ignorant of the true nature of the Muslim Brotherhood. Most likely it thought that the Brotherhood could be tamed if it were given political responsibility. At any event, its representatives said some extraordinarily strange things.
At a House Intelligence Committee hearing on February 10, 2011, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper described the Muslim Brotherhood as a “largely secular” organization with “no overarching agenda.” This was a rather unusual characterization of a group whose motto is: 
“Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Qur’an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.”
If that is secular, what might the religious be?
As for an overarching agenda, the de facto spiritual head of the Muslim Brotherhood, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi proclaimed: “Islam is a comprehensive school of thought, a creed, an ideology, and cannot be completely satisfied but by [completely] controlling society and directing all aspects of life, from how to enter the toilet to the construction of the state.” That means the rule of sharia (Islamic jurisprudence), to which the Muslim Brotherhood has been dedicated since its inception in 1928. The other objective is the restoration of the universal caliphate. The vehicle for doing both is establishment of a one-party totalitarian state.
Totalitarians Don’t Share Power
The totalitarian parties on which the Muslim Brotherhood was modeled – Lenin’s Communists, Mussolini’s Fascists, and Hitler’s National Socialists – showed no inclination toward moderation once having obtained political power. All of them remained true to their principles.
Once in power after Mubarak’s overthrow, President Mohammed Morsi gave a hint of what was to come by openly calling for Shaykh Omar Abdel-Rahman’s repatriation to Egypt from the U.S. federal prison in which he is incarcerated. The famous blind Shaykh was considered the spiritual inspiration behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and is serving a life sentence in connection with a subsequent plot to bomb New York landmarks and tunnels. Might this have been a sign of trouble to come?
In January, a congressional delegation, including Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, were in Cairo visiting President Morsi when an embarrassing pair of videos appeared on the site of the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), documenting the virulent anti-Semitism Morsi had expressed in campaign appearances in 2010. In a September, 2010 interview, Morsi gave a preview of what Egypt’s approach to Israel might be:
Either [you accept] the Zionists and everything they want, or else it is war. This is what these occupiers of the land of Palestine know – these blood-suckers, who attack the Palestinians, these warmongers, the descendants of apes and pigs…We must confront this Zionist entity… We want a country for the Palestinians on the entire land of Palestine, on the basis of [Palestinian] citizenship. All the talk about a two-state solution and about peace is nothing but an illusion…
In another 2010 appearance at a rally in his hometown in the Nile Delta, Morsi said:
We must never forget, brothers, to nurse our children and our grandchildren on hatred for them: for Zionists, for Jews.”  Morsi added that Egyptian children “must feed on hatred; hatred must continue… The hatred must go on for God and as a form of worshiping him.
Everyone in the U.S. delegation got terribly embarrassed over these indiscretions but cleared their throats and continued their trip after President Morsi assured them that the remarks were taken out of context. What might that context have been? Could it have been the context of the Qur’an with its proclamations of everlasting curses upon the Jews? Or perhaps the context of the Muslim Brotherhood program itself – or of its Hamas branch which promises in its charter to eliminate Israel? In either case, how anyone could have been surprised by what Morsi had said after more than eight decades of such rhetoric from the Muslim Brotherhood and its branches must have been in a state of either willful or blissful ignorance. Nonetheless, support from the United States continued. Secretary of State John Kerry met with Morsi in March when he released $250 million in American aid, with promises of more to come.
The only way the United States could have behaved in the way in which it has was by not taking the principles of the Muslim Brotherhood seriously. We still don’t, which explains the many lamentations over Morsi’s downfall (such protestations were notably absent when Mubarak fell in much the same way).
Even intelligent commentators like Fouad Ajami can make statements that, “When the Obama administration could not call the coup d’état by its name, we put on display our unwillingness to honor our own democratic creed…” Come again? Since when does our democratic creed require support for the restoration of a party whose principles are inimical to that creed and to the underlying principle of democracy that all people are created equal?
Bernard Lewis predicted this mess when he said that the rush to early elections after the fall of Mubarak would lead, as did similar events in the Weimar Republic, to the ascension of the most dangerous elements society – meaning victory for the Muslim Brotherhood. In an interview with David Horowitz in the Jerusalem Post (February 25, 2011), Lewis cautioned that the discourse in Egypt is still “religiously defined” and that “the language of Western democracy is for the most part newly translated and not intelligible to the great masses.” How many Egyptians, for instance, actually believe that Copts and Muslims, men and women, believers and nonbelievers, are equal—to say nothing of Jews and Muslims? Pressing for elections now, he warned, could lead to catastrophe, as only religious parties are well enough organized to take advantage of them. (Lewis preferred first to see the development of local self-governing institutions.) Therefore, he said,
“I don’t see elections, Western-style, as the answer to the problem. I see it rather as a dangerous aggravation of a problem. The Western-style election…has no relevance at all to the situation in most Middle Eastern countries. It can only lead to one direction, as it did in [Weimar] Germany, for example.”
He was right. True to form, once in power, the Muslim brotherhood and Morsi went methodically about trying to monopolize power. Morsi assigned himself powers that a Pharaoh would have envied.
Sudanese writer Al-Hajj Warraq, got it exactly right in an Egyptian television interview last year. He said:
Democracy is about more than just the ballot box. Democracy is a culture engraved upon the cerebral box before it is the ballot box. One cannot talk about freedom in the absence of free minds. The tragedy of the Arab Spring is that when the tyrannical regimes fell, the fruits were reaped by movements that preach closed-mindedness, rather than free thinking. The outcome will be regimes that are worse than those that were toppled.
Apparently, the Egyptian people – at least the 30 million who were in the streets marching against Morsi – agreed with him. Unfortunately, the United States has not.
When Hosni Mubarak was arrested in 2011 after his overthrow, no United States senators visited him in prison or in his prison hospital. Why not? He had been an ally of the United States for almost three decades. The answer is that such a visit would have clearly telegraphed to the Egyptian people that the United States supported Mubarak’s restoration.
Why are Americans Backing the Muslim Brotherhood?
Likewise, what were the Egyptian people expected to make of the visits earlier this month by Senators McCain and Graham to Mohammed Morsi under house arrest and to, of all people, the Deputy Guide of the Brotherhood, Khairat al-Shater, also under arrest? No matter what intentions Senators McCain and Graham may have had, the choreography of the visits clearly indicated support by the United States for a Muslim Brotherhood restoration. On top of that, President Obama has now canceled the long-planned military exercises with the Egyptian military, further expressing his disapproval. These actions obviously encourage and incite the pro-Morsi opposition. The Brotherhood will be less likely to reach an accommodation with the new government because of them.
However, accommodation is not in the cards, anyway. The Muslim Brotherhood thought, no doubt, that with its accession to power in Egypt, arguably the most important Arab country, it was well on its way to realizing its millenarian dream of expansion and the reconstruction of the caliphate. Arab spring eruptions elsewhere in the Middle East were also going its way. Therefore, to lose the pinnacle of power in Egypt places its members in a life or death struggle. Since this struggle is at its heart every bit as ideological as were the struggles in the Weimar Republic in the 1930s or the struggles in Imperial Russia in the 1917, deploring violence and calling for reconciliation simply makes the United States appear naïve and totally disconnected from the ground truth of what is actually taking place. (Saudi Arabia and the UAE understand what is going on, which is why they are willing to pony up $12 billion in support of the new government. They are relieved that the Brotherhood’s imperial project, of which they were intended victims, has been thwarted for the time being.)
In this struggle for power, some people will win; others will lose, but it is important enough that both sides are willing both to take and to lose lives to reach their objectives. Tut-tutting on the sidelines makes the United States appear ridiculous. Instead of just deploring violence, we should be appraising the character of the moral principles animating the two sides in this conflict and supporting the side that more closely comports with our own. And yes, that may require the choice of a lesser evil.
Unfortunately, the German military did not move against Adolph Hitler when he became Chancellor of Germany in 1933. Had they done so, Europe and the United States would have been spared a world of woe. Had that happened, would the American government have tried to intervene at the time, insisting on a restoration of Hitler, who had been democratically elected by a plurality of the German people? Would we have insisted that our democratic creed required us to do so?
These questions answer themselves. We would have been grateful to the German military for doing so. We should likewise have some appreciation for what the Egyptian military has done to save its country and, by the way, preserve U.S. strategic interests in that area of the Middle East.
But what about the transition to democracy? Maybe the new government will be able to make one, but most likely, at least for the foreseeable future, it may not be able to. That will depend on the underlying conditions of which Bernard Lewis and Al-Hajj Warraq spoke. In any case, as Jean Kirkpatrick taught us long ago, an authoritarian regime is always preferable to a totalitarian one.
*Robert Reilly is a Senior Fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council. He has taught at the National Defense University and has written forThe Wall Street JournalNational ReviewClaremont Review of Books,and The Washington Post. He has served in the White House as Special Assistant to the President (1983-85) and was Senior Advisor for Information Strategy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (2002-06). He is a former Director of the Voice of America and is a member of the board of the Middle East Media Research Institute. Mr. Reilly is the author of Surprised by Beauty: A Listener’s Guide to the Recovery of Modern Music (2002). His most recent book, The Closing of the Muslim Mind: How Intellectual Suicide Created the Modern Islamist Crisis, was published by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute in 2010.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

PA Radio: One Day Israel 'Will be Palestine Again'

From A7, 19 August 2013, by Ari Soffer:
Is there any hope for peace when the Palestinian Authority continues to strive towards the destruction of the Jewish state?
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas
Flash 90

As "peace talks" continue apace, prompted on by the ever-optimistic John Kerry, Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) ...has highlighted yet another inflammatory statement by official PA organs.
During a special "holiday broadcast" on 8th August in honor of the Muslim festival of Eid el-Fitr, the PA's official radio station expressed its hope and certainty that the State of Israel, referred to as "occupied Palestine", would eventually cease to exist.
The statement, made by a Voice of Palestine radio broadcaster, was directed towards Israel's Arab population (see below to hear the recording):
"Greetings to all our listeners and happy holiday to you, our people in occupied Palestine [i.e. Israel], 1948 Palestine, the 1948 territories [i.e. Israel]... Greetings to our people in Acre, Nazareth, Tiberias, Haifa and Jaffa [all Israeli cities]... May your Palestinian identity be rooted in your hearts and minds. Allah willing, one day Palestine will be Palestine again!"
Palestinian Media Watch has repeatedly exposed how - despite the PA's commitments and claims to the international community that it recognizes Israel - official PA media regularly denies Israel's right to exist and very often denies Israel's very existence. By calling Israel "occupied Palestine," PA radio implicitly recognizes Israel's existence, while explicitly denying Israel's right to exist, the organization said in a statement.
Despite the start of much-lauded "peace talks" between Israel and the PA, Arutz Sheva has reported on a string of PMW exposes of the continued campaign of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic propaganda and incitement to violence by the PA via its official organs.
Last week, the official Facebook page of the Presidential Guard of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas denied the Jewish connection to the Kotel (Western Wall).
A week before, the PA's official TV station broadcast a crudely anti-Semitic program which legitimized violence against Jews in Judea and Samaria, who were stereotyped as violent thieves. The end of the program glorified the humiliation of a religious Jew by cutting off his peyot side-curls, in a scene chillingly reminiscent of Nazi anti-Jewish propaganda.
Other Ramadan broadcasts include a re-run of a music video encouraging violence against Israelis, and the glorification of the murderer of 61 Israeli civilians on the official Facebook page of Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party.
Recently, an anchor on the PA's official news station declared that a future "Palestinian state" would extend from Rosh Hanikra in northern Israel to Eilat in the south - effectively wiping Israel off the map.
These incidents and others led to Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu complaining directly to US Secretary of State John Kerry, who has been pushing the Israeli government to enter into talks with the PA.
Many Israelis will be asking themselves how constructive such talks can be with a partner that continues to declare its intention to eventually wipe Israel off the map.
But in spite of Netanyahu's complaints, and the concerns of ordinary Israelis, and even as world leaders criticize Israeli plans to build in Jerusalem as hindering talks, there has been little-to-no mention of continued PA incitement. Indeed, Israeli and Jewish commentators have pointed out in the past few weeks that whilst the Israeli government is subject to widespread pressure to make concessions to encourage "good will," no such requirements are made of the Palestinian Authority.
Last month, following a wave of pressure against Israel from the EU and US, ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman claimed that the international community was giving the PA a "free pass," and called on the EU in particular to end its “long-standing habit of not holding the Palestinian Authority responsible for its actions and inactions that are unequivocally obstacles to peace."
The continued silence of the international community only strengthens that impression.

Egyptians inspire a campaign to remove Hamas in Gaza

From JPost, 19 August 2013, by Khaled Abu Toameh:

Movement denounces Islamist group's "repression and tyranny"; Hamas accuses Fatah of attempt to instigate tensions in Gaza.
           Khaled Mashaal, Ismail Haniyeh at Dec 8 Gaza rally
Khaled Mashaal, Ismail Haniyeh at Dec 8 Gaza rally 
Photo: REUTERS/Mohammed Salem
Following the Egyptian example, a group of activists has launched a Palestinian version of the Tamarod (“Rebellion”) campaign to remove Hamas from power in the Gaza Strip.
Tamarod is a grassroots movement in Egypt that led the campaign to oust president Mohamed Morsi.
The Palestinian group on Monday shared a video announcing a series of anti-Hamas activities as of November 11.
“Repression and tyranny have reached their peak and we can no longer remain silent,” the group said in the video. “The time has come to reject death under Hamas’s security club.”
The group said that the Palestinian Tamarod movement consisted of youths “of all colors and affiliations.”
Denouncing Hamas as medieval gangsters, the group accused the Islamist movement of torture, sabotage, smuggling, bribery and thuggery.
“Addressing Hamas,” the group said, “We won’t ask you to leave because you are part of us. But you won’t rule after November 11 even if you finish us off. All our options are open, except for using weapons. We are different from you. Unlike you, we don’t use weapons against our brothers. Unlike you, we don’t kill children, the elderly, women and youths. Unlike you, we don’t destroy mosques. We will face you with bare chests.”
...Sources in Gaza said Hamas security forces have arrested two Palestinians on suspicion of “plotting to overthrow the Hamas government.”
The sources said the two men are from the southern Gaza Strip.
Hamas authorities have taken a number of preemptive measures to foil any attempt to copy the anti- Morsi campaign in Gaza.
The measures include imposing travel bans on top Fatah leaders, including Zakariya al-Agha, who was prevented from leaving Gaza to participate in a PLO meeting in Ramallah earlier this week.
Tensions between Hamas and Fatah have escalated in the aftermath of the ousting of Morsi.
While Fatah has come out in support of Morsi’s removal, Hamas has condemned Egypt’s new rulers for carrying out a military coup against a democratically elected president.
On Sunday, Hamas rejected an offer by Fatah to hold long-overdue general elections in the West Bank and Gaza. Representatives of the two rival parties who met in Gaza City failed to reach an agreement on holding presidential and parliamentary elections.
Salah Bardawil, a senior Hamas official, said that by offering to hold elections, Fatah was trying to “cover up for the scandal of resuming peace talks” with Israel.
...He said that Hamas would not allow Fatah to hold elections in Gaza.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Perpetuating Victimhood

From Times of Israel, 16 Aug 2013, by Cliff Pinto:

The Palestinian refugee crisis, caused by invading Arab armies during the war of annihilation waged by them against Israel in 1948, is one that should have been laid to rest over half a century ago. Unfortunately, the Arab world, thanks to the patronage of the International Community, has succeeded in perpetuating the crisis and prolonging the sufferings of the Palestinian people, as letting go would mean the continued existence of Israel.
In this piece, I will examine actions by the Arab world in maintaining this crisis, and the World’s complicity in the associated gross human-rights violations of the Palestinians via UNRWA – the organ that legalizes this behavior.
“Palestinians live in very bad conditions. That official policy is meant to preserve their Palestinian identity. If every Palestinian who sought refuge in a certain country was integrated and accommodated into that country, there won’t be any reason for them to return to Palestine”- Hisham Youssef, spokesman for the 22-nation Arab League, (“Treatment Frustrates Palestinian Refugees”, LA Times, January 04, 2004)

“The Arab states do not want to solve the refugee problem. They want to keep it as an open sore, as an affront to the United Nations and as a weapon against Israel. Arab leaders don’t give a damn whether the refugees live or die.”- Sir Alexander Galloway, former head of UNRWA in Jordan (April, 1952)
“The appearance of a distinct Palestinian national personality comes as an answer to Israel’s claim that Palestine is Jewish”
- King Hussein of Jordan, at the Arab League meet in Amman, Jordan, November 1987
“It is well-known and understood that the Arabs, in demanding the return of the refugees to Palestine, mean their return as masters of the Homeland and not as slaves. With a greater clarity, they mean the liquidation of the State of Israel.”- Egyptian Foreign Minister Muhammad Salah al-Din (Al-Misri, October 11, 1949)
“We are against the settlement of the refugees in any country…..”- Saeb Erakat, Palestinian Cabinet Member, December 2003
The Casablanca Protocol adopted by the Arab League in 1965,  in its annex relating to the Palestinians, particularly, in relation to efforts aimed at safeguarding the recently created “Palestinian” identity, said:
(1) Whilst retaining their Palestinian nationality, Palestinians currently residing in the land of ___________ have the right of employment on part with its citizens.
In tune with the first part of that point, the Arab League instructed its members to deny citizenship to Palestinians within their lands, “to avoid dissolution of their identity and protect their right to return to their homeland.” The Arab nations (excluding Jordan) completely followed thru on that part, but have overwhelmingly disregarded other declarations of the Protocol with regards granting their Palestinian residents equal human-rights, and have brutally persecuted them for over half-a-century, using them as tools to achieve a political end – the demographic destruction of Israel.
The Arab nations, in imposing a brutal form of apartheid on their Palestinian residents, found the perfect mechanism as a measure:
(A) against any natural assimilation that would take place over time, leading to a loss of national identity, and (B) to perpetuate hostility and animosity among the Palestinians towards Israel — whom the Arab leaders propagandize, is responsible for their plight. Thus, keeping alive the false hope of an emphatic return, which if implemented would mean the fulfillment of their cherished aspiration of destroying Israel.
And to the world’s surprise, Palestinian leaders are fully supportive of this action as they know that it mitigates the loss of collective national identity and breeds anger against Israel. They have made it clear that in the case of a two-state solution, the future Palestinian state would not allow refugees to immigrate, leave alone become citizens. At the cost of inflicting extreme misery and suffering upon their own people, they’ve managed to keep alive their pipe-dream of destroying Israel.
Furthermore, since Israel is unequivocally hated in the Arab and Islamic world, prolonging the refugee crisis paints Israel as the perennial bogeyman to the masses. Playing on the popular hatred of Israel, the plight of the refugees works as a rallying cry for Arab regimes, fueling nationalism and thereby, uniting people under the banner of their leadership — reinforcing their own clutch on power by deflecting all attention from their domestic problems onto Israel. Seeing as how this crisis (and the existence of Israel in general) is such a blessing to the tyrannical Arab regimes, it’s obvious that they’re content prolonging the sub-human treatment of Palestinians.
That the Palestinian people have been the perfect pawns for both their leaders and for other Arab nations, in their own selfish and strategic considerations, was something even the late King Hussein of Jordan admitted to when in a 1960 speech he said:
“Since 1948 Arab leaders have approached the Palestine problem in an irresponsible manner. They have not looked into the future. They have no plan or approach. They have used the Palestinian people for selfish political purposes. This is ridiculous and, I could say, criminal.”
Khaled al-Azzem, former Syrian Prime Minister, confirmed this years later, in 1973, when he said:
“Since 1948 it is we who have demanded the return of the refugees while it is we who made them leave. We have rendered them dispossessed. We have accustomed them to begging. We have participated in lowering their moral and social level. Then we exploited them in executing crimes of murder, arson and throwing bombs at men, women and children.”
Israeli-Arab journalist Khaled Abu Toameh’s work with the Jerusalem Post and Gatestone Institute is the most insightful for a complete understanding of the persecution of Palestinians in the Arab world. Also, this well-researched and insightful paper by foreign-policy expert Mitchell Bard is a perfect primer on the subject. The conditions of Palestinians in the Arab world are so mortifying that even rabidly anti-Israel writers like Ahmad Moor and Rami Khoury seem to have taken notice of the problem.
Out of the numerous incidents/examples of the cruelty meted out to Palestinians in the Arab world, here are a few:
(1) Palestinian refugees were treated quite well in Kuwait, but all that changed in 1991 because of Arafat’s support for Saddam Hussain’s invasion, and hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were forcefully expelled from the kingdom.
(2) Palestinians in Lebanon live in extreme Apartheid-like conditions, where they’re denied citizenship, health-care, social services, property and land ownership, forced to live in fixed ghettoes, forbidden from entering a long list of professions (Law, Medicine, Engineering etc.) among a long list of things. The PLO’s involvement in the Lebanese civil war in which Palestinian militia slaughtered scores of Lebanese civilians (especially Christians) only worsened the situation. Also, Lebanon being an ethnically diverse nation, didn’t want to upset its delicate domestic demographic balance by naturalizing Palestinian refugees who were overwhelmingly Sunni Muslim.
(3) In Jordan, inspite of about 40% of UNRWA-registered refugees receiving citizenship, Palestinians face severe discrimination during entry into private and state-sector jobs and also university admissions, where there’s a fixed ceiling on the number of Palestinians that can be accepted. Anti-terror activity overwhelmingly targets Palestinians, a tradition that began since Black September. They are barred from joining the military for the same reason. For more on the subject, the works of prominent Palestinian-Jordanian activist, Mudar Zahran, with the Jerusalem Post and Gatestone Institute.
(4) In Syria, although they’re not citizens, they had been treated far better than in the rest of the Arab world (which is not saying much.) One Palestinian militant faction, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), is strongly allied with Assad. Once the civil war began, a minority of Palestinians affiliated with the PFLP while the rest allied with the rebels, leading to numerous massacres by Assad’s forces. The pro-Assad Palestinians have not been spared by the rebels either.
(5) In Egypt, because of the fact that UNRWA has no presence, Palestinians are not registered as refugees, therefore receiving no assistance whatsoever. Also, they’re considered stateless by the Egyptian government even after generations and are ineligible for education, healthcare and other amenities that are offered free of charge to Egyptian citizens. For a brief period under the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), Palestinians ONLY with marriage ties to Egyptians were conferred citizenship, but that was completely stopped after the MB’s ouster.
(6) In Iraq, under Saddam Hussain, although deprived citizenship, Palestinians were treated fairly equitably. They were granted residency permits, access to healthcare, work permits, freedom to travel and reside all across the country. Palestinians there became very loyal to Saddam, even though some of their privileges during the period of Western sanctions (from 1990  to 2003) were withdrawn, which fermented extreme resentment against them from the Shia and Kurdish sections of Iraqi society that were brutally persecuted by the Baathist regime. Once the Shias came to power thanks to George W. Bush’s ill-considered and reckless decision to invade Iraq and topple Saddam, the Palestinians were seen as remnants of the regime and mass-atrocities against them began. Severe discrimination, revoking of residence permits, numerous terror attacks, arbitrary arrests, interrogations, abductions, tortures by unknown Shiite groups, among many other things, are a regular feature.
 Legalising Fraud and Manipulation
Founded in December 1949 by UN General Assembly Resolution 302 (IV), the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East was created to provide humanitarian relief and rehabilitation to refugees caused by the invading Arab armies in the war of 1948.  The organisation was created with only a three year mandate as no one expected the refugee problem to persist after the war. John Blandford Jr., the Director of UNRWA, wrote in his report on November 29, 1951, that he expected the Arab governments to assume responsibility for relief by July 1952. He stated: Sustained relief operations inevitably contain the germ of human deterioration.”
Today, UNRWA, with an annual budget of $1.2 billion, is headquartered in Gaza and Amman, Jordan, with 58 camps in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, the West Bank, and Gaza, and has registered about six million Palestinian refugees, of which only about 1.6 million actually live in the camps.
Originally, UNRWA was meant to handle ALL refugees, the Jewish refugees expelled from Jordanian-occupied East Jerusalem and other Arab nations into Israel, the internally displaced Arab refugees within Israel AND the Arab émigrés from Israel to other Arab nations. Israel took control of the Jewish refugees and internally displaced Arab refugees (rehabilitating them fully and naturalizing them) from UNRWA, rendering its services within Israel proper unnecessary. The Arab nations, the self-proclaimed “defenders of Palestine,” chose not to do what Israel did with its refugees (as International Law demands), and forced them into a segregated apartheid-like existence — forging a permanent dependence on UNRWA.
UNRWA has exceeded its mandate by sixty-one years thanks to the Arabs’ stubbornness. Because of that, while EVERY other refugee group on this planet is handled by the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees), that works towards naturalizing refugees in their adopted homes, the Palestinians have their own special agency that does precisely the opposite — perpetuates their “victim” status by excusing the Arabs’ gross violations of International Law. And no one dares to question this gross double standard because it bears the UN stamp of legitimacy.
Why the international community didn’t defund UNRWA immediately, which would have automatically voided all refugee statuses, is anyone’s guess. Doing so, would have ensured either the UNHCR handling the situation, leading to more positive steps in the direction of naturalization, or the Arab states being forced to deal with problem on their own just like Israel chose to. This would have ended the sham that is the “refugee crisis” over half-a-century ago. Today, the Arab nations are in gross violation of the Geneva Convention — whose Article 34 on Naturalization stipulates that the so-called refugees of today are citizens — and all treatises and statutes of International Law that they are signatories of, with full patronage from the West.
According to UNRWA:
The operational definition of a Palestine refugee is any person whose “normal place of residence was Palestine during the period 1 June 1946 to 15 May 1948 and who lost both home and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 conflict.”
Palestine refugees are persons who fulfill the above definition and descendants of fathers fulfilling the definition.
Previously, I proved that only a tiny minority of the Arabs that left or were expelled during the 1948 war were land owners and conferring refugee status on the other, non-land owning Palestinian residents (legal and illegal) is illogical because they have NO LEGAL CLAIMS to the land.
Onto the next part of that definition: How exactly do the “descendants of fathers fulfilling the definition” become eligible for refugee status?
Are the descendants of the millions of Hindus into India from, what is now, Pakistan during the 1947 partition of the subcontinent still considered refugees? What about the descendants of the twelve million German refugees into Germany post-WW2, after their lands were ethnically cleansed and annexed to neighbouring countries? What about the descendants of the roughly one million Jewish refugees into Israel after their forceful expulsion from the Arab world? What about the descendants of the ten million Bangladeshi Hindu refugees into India after 1971? What about the descendants of the Chinese people that were expelled from Indonesia in 1965?
While every other refugee group has disappeared over time, the Palestinian refugee number has ballooned, from about 750,000 in 1948 to almost 6 million today, and is growing even further. Why are only the Palestinians accorded this privilege?
Chris Gunness, spokesman for UNRWA, justifies this by saying : “There is no basis to question the reality that Palestinian refugees have for generations been compelled by circumstances, to retain their refugee status.
So according to him, since the Arabs have been consistent in persecuting the Palestinians and using them as agents in fulfilling their destructive agenda, it’s ok to play along with their whims, and allow them to force all future generations of Palestinians to live under brutal apartheid conditions. He implies that no effort or political action needs to be taken against the Arab nations for their responsibility in CAUSING the refugee crisis, and nor does he endorse the idea of pressuring them to abide by the law and naturalize all refugees. UNRWA endorses the notion that the Arabs’ persistence in brutalizing the Palestinians has earned them special privileges like full financial backing to continue persecuting refugees, thereby completely exempting them from the law, while India, Israel, Germany etc., have had to bear the heavy burden associated with fully settling their refugees simply because they chose the humanitarian path.
On a side note, a million-dollar question that no spokesman of UNRWA or pro-Palestinian activist seems to be able to answer is: Of the scores of Palestinians living in the West, who’re complete citizens of their adopted countries and among the few who are citizens in the Arab world, why are they STILL registered as “refugees”? The contradiction seems to be lost on many in pro-Palestinian circles.
Further, he says, “Palestinian refugees continue to be refugees because the issues which caused their exile remain outstanding, and, “It is wishful, cynical thinking to suppose that Palestinian refugees can be made to “go away” by dispersing them around the globe or by dissolving the Agency established to protect and assist them pending a just and lasting solution to their plight.Similarly, in an interview on Israeli television, when questioned about the “hereditary clause”, Gunness says: All internationally accepted paradigms for ending the refugee crisis, which are accepted by the Israeli government and all else, has the refugee problem resolved within the context of an overall and durable solution. What is perpetuating the refugee crisis according to all internationally accepted paradigms is the lack of a solution. We need a solution, and then UNRWA will go away, once there is no refugee problem
Has the Israeli-Arab conflict been resolved for good? No! Has the India-Pakistan conflict been resolved? No! But the Jewish refugees into Israel and the Hindu refugees into India did “go away,” simply by the act of the host nations abiding by the Geneva Convention. In both these cases, “the issues which caused their exileDO continue to “remain outstanding,so why are only Palestinians considered refugees? If inspite of a lack of a solution,Israel can reject “the Agency established to protect and assist its refugees pending a just and lasting solution to their plight, and treat every last Jewish refugee as a full-fledged citizen in Israel, why are the Arab nations incapable of doing so?
Mr. Gunness feels that a “lack of a solution” to the conflict, and not the Arab nations’ horrendous human rights abuses and non-compliance with the law, is responsible for the perpetuation of the problem.
His responses also reek of complete ignorance of the law. As I explained in my previous piece, ALL statutes, resolutions and legalities with regards the refugee crisis, don’t specify “Arab” refugees, but talk about “refugees”, which obviously includes both Jewish and Arab refugees.
Also, since legally, Israel doesn’t owe the refugees anything, and certainly not a physical right of return, is signing a peace treaty really going to end Arab intransigence overnight? You can be rest assured, that after a two-state solution is implemented, Arab leaders aren’t going to overnight accept Palestinians living among them as equals and forgo their now sixty-six year old aspiration of dumping them onto Israel, so why pretend otherwise and prolong this charade?
Likewise, John Ging, one of the former heads of UNRWA, argued that there is no basis to say that it is UNRWA’s decision because our mandate is given to us. I agree that it is a political failure, but we don’t set up the mandate, we are only the implementers. In short, since the Arab nations surrounding Israel have an agenda of using Palestinians as political chess pieces, UNRWA is more than happy to play along.
Zochrot (an anarchist, anti-establishment, hard-left organization in Israel that calls for a right of return for Palestinian “refugees”) on the issue of why the German refugee crisis of WW2 is not given the same recognition as the Palestinian “refugee crisis,” says:
In 1972, however, in an agreement West Germany signed with Poland, it renounced the collective right of return of German refugees to areas from which they had fled or been expelled, so that this issue has been resolved – formally, at least
If a “formal agreement” is all that stands in the way of abrogating this legally non-existent, yet persistent, maximalist demand which has always been a roadblock to peace, perhaps the International Community needs to reshape its approach to the Palestinians and the Arab nations. By Zochrot’s definition, if UNRWA was completely defunded and sufficient pressure was put by the International Community on: (A) the Palestinian leaders, to accept (as international law mandates) a peace agreement completely divorced from the right of return, and (B) the Arab nations, to abide by the terms of the Geneva Convention and settle its’ Palestinian residents (just like Germany did to its refugees), would the whole issue will be put to rest and would Zochrot shut shop for eternity?
In a brilliant op-ed with the Jerusalem Post, Timon Dias lays out the main financial backers of UNRWA. While Canada has withdrawn funding since 2010, the EU and the US still contribute to about 71% of UNRWA’s funding (while no Muslim or Arab nation is even among the top fifteen in the list of the organisation’s backers.) Tragically, American and European tax payer money is being wasted on sponsoring welfare programs in the Arab world and the Palestinian territories, preaching hatred and violence, and to support terrorism against Israel, when many Western nations are themselves on the verge of financial collapse.
A bill introduced by Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) in June last year — that struck at the heart of the problem, questioning why Palestinians are accorded inheritable refugee status – although a symbolic gesture if passed, would have sent a very strong message. Unfortunately, after overwhelming non-cooperation from other Senators like Dennis Leahy (D-VT), a very watered down version of the bill was passed, that only called for a census of all registered refugees, while fortunately demanding a differentiation between descendants and actual refugees. This was a lot less than most people hoped for, but was certainly a step in the right direction towards possibly defunding UNRWA in the future.
 Legalising Hatred and Violence
In Gaza, where UNRWA is headquartered, the operational borders between UNRWA and Hamas are extremely blurry. There are high-levels of co-operation between the two groups on everything from brainwashing and indoctrination to recruiting for armed Jihad against Israel. Not to mention, the use of UNRWA schools and other organisational facilities to launch rockets into Israel. Karen Koning Abuzayd, former commissioner of UNRWA, in a 2006 Congressional hearing, responded to these allegations by admitting it was too difficult for UNRWA to run checks against terrorist watch lists because “Arab last names sound so familiar.”
With regards UNRWA’s neutrality, Chris Gunness offers a few standard talking points, but he fails to address the fact that UNRWA has about 30,000 employees. Almost 99% of them are Palestinians, employed in positions at various levels within the group. The UNHRC, whose mandate is the entire world, has less than six thousand employees. It is obvious that an organization comprising overwhelmingly of Palestinians would have such a strong bias against Israel, always yielding to the destructive policies of host governments, especially Hamas and Lebanon. David Bedein, of the Center for Near East Policy Research, recently released a very insightful documentary titled Camp Jihad, about UNRWA camps for brainwashing Palestinian children and training them for armed Jihad. The overwhelming amount of evidence, in terms of the constant reports of hate-mongering, brainwashing and terrorist activity in UNRWA’s facilities that surface time and time again, do enough in the way of discrediting Gunness’s claims of neutrality.

In response to such allegations, Gunness says that UNRWA conducts six monthly checks of all employees against UN 1267 Sanctions Committee list of terrorists and terrorist entities. That’s quite unfortunate, because UN 1267 is only a watch-list of Al Qaeda and Taliban suspects, and not Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terror groups. And in Gaza, where Hamas has a vice-like grip on everything, it is foolish to think that UNRWA would not have been completely hijacked by Hamas’ cronies. Can you imagine what would happen to the organisation’s employees and infrastructure if they barred entry to Hamas members, or refused to accede to their demands?
A highly damning report by former legal advisor and general counsel of UNRWA, James Lindsay, was published in 2009, in which he castigated the organization for its lack of efforts in naturalizing refugees, for running schools and using textbooks that teach anti-Semitism, display all of Israel as foreign-occupied territory, preach complete rejection of peace and normalization with Israel, and for its complicity in terror attacks (or plots) against the Jewish state.
With regards indoctrination, said John Ging: “As for our schools, we use textbooks of the Palestinian Authority. Are they perfect? No, they’re not. I can’t defend the indefensible.” Ging seems to very casually admit that the scores of reports of UNRWA’s complicity in preaching violence and indoctrination, while true, are mere signs of “imperfection,” nothing more.
The report by James Lindsay and the works of prominent journalists Asaf Romirowsky, Alexander H. Joffe, and Claudia Rosett, speak volumes about the activities of UNRWA and the West’s backing all of this.