Friday, November 21, 2014

Israel Can Prevail

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, November 20, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Perpetuating Barbarity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

They are only perpetuating barbarity.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Murdered, Because They Were Jews

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

Tarek Fatah

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

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

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

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

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

What have we become, I asked myself?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, November 16, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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