Saturday, December 10, 2011

More Progress on American Political Front


As my readers know, I and my friends have been engaged these past decades in attempting to realign strategic thinking on the part of the US administrations, Congress and State Department officials. As American citizens, we view this as part of the democratic process which, of course, is employed by many other immigrant groups and, to be clear, is more moral than what many of our local NGOs attempt to do, with foreign money, here in Israel. Recently, five congressmen visited the area (in the 1980s we even had Senators - Helms, Hecht and Furenberger) out here in Yesha and we have been in House corridors.

Several Republican candidates have spoken out forcefully (1 & 2) on the issue of whether the Jewish communities are legal and whether Judea and Samaria should be retained by Israel.

Now this story:

...Mr. Gingrich suggested that he might break with it [the so-called "two-state" solution], calling Palestinians an “invented” people and the current stalled peace process “delusional.”...He also said the leadership of the Palestinian Authority, which has pledged to respect Israel’s right to exist, really harbors “an enormous desire to destroy Israel.”

In his comments, Mr. Gingrich has gone beyond the other Republican presidential candidates, who have condemned President Obama for proposing that Israel’s 1967 borders, with mutually agreed land swaps, should be the basis for negotiating peace with the Palestinians.

...Discussing the origin of the state of Israel in the 1940s, Mr. Gingrich said: “Remember, there was no Palestine as a state. It was part of the Ottoman Empire. And I think that we’ve had an invented Palestinian people, who are in fact Arabs and were historically part of the Arab community. And they had a chance to go many places.”...

...Mr. Gingrich, who is leading in recent polls, has repeatedly criticized the Obama administration for bending too far in favor of the Palestinians. He was applauded at a candidates’ forum on Wednesday by a coalition of Jewish Republicans for characterizing the administration’s view as “it’s always Israel’s fault — no matter how bad the other side is.”

And then you have Martin S. Indyk reacting in hysterical fashion:

...if Mr. Gingrich believed that Palestinians did not have a right to an independent state, “as implied in his language, then he’s not pro-Israel at all.”

as well as another "Establishment" figure:

David A. Harris, chief executive of the National Jewish Democratic Council, an American Jewish group, said Mr. Gingrich’s views reversed decades of American policy by both Democratic and Republican administrations. “This is as clear a demonstration as one needs that he’s not ready for prime time,” Mr. Harris said.

But Gingrinch seems to be quite cognizant of the political realities:

...“I mean, we have an armed truce with a Palestinian Authority that’s relatively weak,” he said. “And on its flank is a Hamas authority, which may become relatively weak because it can’t deliver anything. But both of which represent an enormous desire to destroy Israel.”

He described Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, as denying Israel’s right to exist.

“You have Abbas, who says in the United Nations, ‘We do not necessarily concede Israel’s right to exist,’ ” Mr. Gingrich said. “So you have to start with this question: ‘Who are you making peace with?’ ”

Sheldon Adelson seems to be assisting.

Seems, a major change is in the works. It will seep down and finally, a true discourse on the possibilities for peace and the requirments of security will be fixed.


Friday, December 09, 2011

Islamic Madness—Are Arabs Stupid?

By Ari Bussel

Once the common belief was that Arabs are stupid. But they are not. For over a century they have tried to eliminate any Jewish presence from the Holy Land. They butchered the local Jewish population, let some time pass and always returned to their old habits. Much like the Pogroms in Europe, the massacres by the Arabs were consistent and brutal.

When the global community officially recognized the Jewish right to self-determination in their ancient land, the Arabs were outraged. They engaged in numerous wars, were driven, thus relentless, to achieve their mission at all costs. n 1973 they almost succeeded, and when success—so close in sight —did not materialize, they unleashed their anger on the world at large. The oil embargo that followed, and the world’s continued reliance on black gold for daily life, resulted in a fatal discovery.

The Arabs held the world by their pockets, literally. Every barrel of oil generated revenue, all of which was invested into spreading Wahhabism, supporting terrorism and building an infrastructure of evil. A small echelon flew gold-plated planes, occupied buildings not seen anywhere else in the world erected especially for them but their wealth did not benefit the multitudes.

The Arab world today is composed of young, mostly uneducated and unemployed, a fertile ground for discontent. The young became a breeding ground for hatred and the spread of new and more fanatic interpretations of Islam. Reaching a boiling point beneath the surface, steam had to be released.

This happened first in Tunisia then Egypt, Yemen, Libya and Syria. The old dictators of four decades were forced out. Middle Eastern tradition dictated it happen with much blood and fanfare. Butchering Jews or one’s own, the Arabs care not: The bloodier the scene, the stronger the stench, how better the result.

Add to the mix a pretty, blond American reporter raped repeatedly, as a crowd of men and women watched and chanted while some performed the sacred ritual. It was an act that proved their superiority against a defenseless woman, beating, molesting, sodomizing and raping her, and an endless lust for more. Much like the massacres of the Jews.

In the beginning the voices that blamed the Jews for all ill will were more subdued, the throngs were so overwhelmed with joy for their new activities. But soon the currents of blame were too strong to ignore: Israel is at fault.

Centuries of blood libels added to the mix while broadcasting 24/7 against Israel and the Jews drenched the psyche of every young man, woman, boy and girl. “Pigs and Apes,” “Occupiers,” “Evil-doers who must go.” It was madness fueled by modern telecommunication and a most sophisticated propaganda machine.

The world that stood amazed at the developments in 2011 (so-called “Arab Spring” or “Youth Revolution”) mistook the revolt for craving democracy, for an Obama-like-“CHANGE.” Except the only Change Obama ushered in was moving an even more dangerous form of Islam to the forefront. The only Hope now is for minimum casualties in the West.

Another US President, also a Democrat, similarly managed to promote radical Islam, and is solely responsible for the ascent of Ayatollah Khomeini to power in 1979. Now 32 years later, Obama has singlehandedly sacrificed President Mubarak on the altar of insanity, as Carter did the Shah, paving the way for the ascent of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Another power has ideas of grandeur. Turkey wants to return to its former glory, an Islamic Empire.

Turkey, Iran and Egypt, each representing the gateway to a different continent, all intersect at a singular point: Israel.

Damn the Jews, had it not been for their determination to retain this tiny piece of land, we could witness the most glorious spectacle the world has seen since World War One. Iran, Turkey and Egypt, each once again an Islamic empire on its own right, striving for world domination.

And that is exactly the point. We are either witnessing the very formation of World War Three or are already immersed in it. It will eventually be viewed as the “Great Reformation of Islam,” the only question will be what the world will look like in its aftermath.

There is no doubt all these ideas of grandeur will be quashed, along with many millions, (tens? hundreds? a billion?) as well. This is a necessary condition for humanity to reemerge and continue to survive.

My worry is for the over six million Jews now living in Israel, this volatile point of intersection, and a like number living outside the Holy Land. They are the most despised species on earth (other than cockroaches perhaps), and the world is literally dying to rid itself of their presence. They are like a disease, in a world eager to cleanse itself of this menace once and for all.

Arabs are not stupid. They have been successfully brainwashed and immersed in such vile hatred they cannot comprehend sanity. The only prism via which they can see or hear anything is the one that blames the Jews for all the world’s ills.

Imagine how all those trillions in oil revenue could have been used for the betterment of the Arabs. All that was needed is inspiration and determination. The Jews succeeded, without any billions, in making the desert bloom, drying swamps and defeating malaria. They also absorbed a number of immigrants greater than their own, not to mention healing the ashes that remained after the Holocaust.

The Arabs chose instead the “easy” way. Why bother when it is easier to conquer and take over the providence of others?

Thus, like parasites they spread through Europe and America, from south to north, and in Israel they call themselves “Palestinians” and join hands with the Israeli left. Swelling to the point where they will completely choke the host, then—boom—both they and the host will die.

While Arabs have the patience to commit retaliatory measures years, decades and at times centuries after the fact, they refuse to understand what is good for them. Do they not see that eventually they will die? They do not aspire good (not for others, only for themselves), but for destruction.

If Arabs were not stupid, they would turn away from hatred into construction, education and research. If Arabs were smart, they would channel their immense resources and energies into bettering the world, not spreading lies and blood libels, hatred and death.

But apparently they do not seek these goals, and so we will all pay the price. They may not exist at the end, but we are bound to go down with them.

Maybe it is our fault also, for allowing them to spread and not stopping them sooner. Perhaps we are not as smart as we believe for if we were, then we undoubtedly would have already been retaliating rather than encouraging, fighting rather than cooperating and enabling.

In Judaism one is to spread love and glorify the Lord. What exactly is Islam doing for its believers? Digging a mass grave. Clearly, not the same God, nor any similarities. Nothing in common. One ideology believes in the sanctity of life, the other is a death cult.

The world needs to awaken, else when it does, it will be smeared in blood and the cries of the raped and wounded. Can we afford another world war that each day seems more inevitable?

The series “Postcards from America—Postcards from Israel” by Ari Bussel and Norma Zager is a compilation of articles capturing the essence of life in America and Israel during the first two decades of the 21st Century.

The writers invite readers to view and experience an Israel and her politics through their eyes, Israel visitors rarely discover and Israelis often ignore.

This point—and often—counter-point presentation is sprinkled with humor and sadness and attempts to tackle serious and relevant issues of the day. The series began in 2008, appears both in print in the USA and on numerous websites and is followed regularly by readership from around the world.

Zager and Bussel can be heard on live radio in conversation on the program “Conversations Eye to Eye between Norma and Ari.”

© “Postcards from America — Postcards from Israel,” December, 2011


Thursday, December 08, 2011

“Those That Bless You I Will Bless”

Howard Rotberg, President of Mantua Books, publisher of Professor Merkley’s important new book
Ted Belman

As a child of a survivor of the Holocaust, I have always been interested in ideology, religion and the misuse of religion.

Alas, we live in an era where in many countries a world religion, Islam, has been hijacked to serve a totalitarian ideology, merging religion and totalitarian murder, into something called Islamism.

Moreover, we live in an era where substantial number of our most educated in the West claim to be “post-religious” and even “post-ideological”, not understanding that everyone worships something if not G-d, and everyone has some ideology even if that ideology is to claim that he alone has escaped a system of values and standards. Those values and standards are of course what ideology is based on and hence it is present in all places at all times. It is precisely the role of the intellectual to describe ideology, analyze it and critique it, rather than claim only his opponents have an ideology. When a substantial number of Christians and Jews have become so mired in an ideology of tolerance and appeasement of Evil that our very freedoms are at stake, we know we in the West are in deep trouble.
And so, it is such a pleasure for me, a former practicing lawyer who became a writer himself, and then a publisher, to be able to publish the important new book by Professor Paul C. Merkley.

For in a world that seems to grow madder by the moment, and censors that which is deemed either “politically incorrect”, “neocon”, “right wing” or other such epithets, our very best people, like Professor Merkley, have stepped forward to use their tremendous knowledge acquired over a life time of scholarship to explain some of our most urgent problems and differences of opinion.

For you see, most of our media, many of our universities and publishing houses have decided to censor certain topics in the misguided, even evil choice, to appease evil by raising the idea of “tolerance” over the Biblical concept of Justice, as the most important ideal of the West. They assert a non-existent right not to be offended to excuse the abrogation of their responsibility to critique our biggest threats today, which come from those who should and must be challenged on their misguided notions of what constitutes Justice and Human Rights in our tradition.

Of course, as someone who lost his grandparents and then 8 year old aunt to the gas chambers of Auschwitz, I have always known that “tolerance” was not a wise policy but only a measure to be applied to social differences rather than to those who represent political tyranny. Yet, everywhere around us the misguided idea that Christians and Jews must not “offend” the very forces that persecute us world wide has grown into an aggressive censorship of some of our most important topics and most important writers.

To the thinking Christian and Jew it is scary to see the President of the United States go to countries like Egypt and Indonesia, both of which continue to persecute both Christians and Jews, and then praise them for having the very same degree of tolerance and justice found in the West. The Jews have now been completely ethnically cleansed from the Arab world and now the same is happening to the Christians – from the Coptic Christians of Egypt to the dwindling Arab Christians of Bethlehem. Bethlehem’s administration was unwisely ceded by Israel to the so-called Palestinian Authority, under international pressure. Alas, as Hitler showed, Jew-hatred invariably leads to hatred of everything good and Christians themselves find themselves the next target of the Islamists and their “useful idiots” in the West. While someone like me finds Obama to be incompetent in the extreme, the liberal democratic media and academy praise him. We are in very dangerous days.

And so, we are proud that Professor Merkley tackles head on, one of the most puzzling disputes in Christianity today and one that can only be understood, as his subtitle makes clear, in “historical perspective”. The story of the relationship between Judaism and its offshoot, Christianity, is a story of cousins in a love-hate relationship. This family disarray, among people who claim to follow the very same “Judeo-Christian” ethic, is a sad sub-text to all modern history. This Judeo Christian ethic, based on individual responsibility and free will that goes back to the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, stands proudly in contrast to the group rights and individual persecutions and antipathy to liberal democracy and human rights in the Islamic world.

Professor Merkley applies his knowledge from an entire career as a distinguished academic to making the case for a reconciliation between Jews and Christians based on Christian Zionism, that recognizes the Biblical homeland of the Jews as outlined in the “Old Testament” and which denies the historical revisionism espoused by many Muslims and supposed Christians alike.

The fact that Christian anti-Zionism permeates the leadership of the old line Churches and the educators of the University seminaries is scary; but it is far less scary when this important book exposes their faulty arguments and ideological blinders within both a historical and theological context for all to see.

This is the exercise of freedom at its finest: a brave academic rises above the inherent political correctness and censorship of those very people who should be encouraging his scholarship, and fearlessly tells the truth, backed up by true facts.
It is one of the joys of my life to be associated with people like Paul C. Merkley.

Book order here

It's a Tough Time For Jews

Cal Thomas

In a season in which there is very little "peace on Earth" and even less "good will towards men," it is a particularly tough time for Jews, who may be finding it more and more difficult to tell who their real friends are.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta fired an unusually harsh salvo across the Israelis bow. In a speech at a Brookings Institution forum, he urged Israel to get to the "d--n table" for peace talks. It must have escaped Panetta's notice that the Palestinians are the ones refusing to come to the "d--n table" unless their unacceptable demands are met. These include, depending on the day, the cessation of construction projects, even on pre-1967 Israeli land, the so-called "right of return" of "Palestinian refugees," a concession by Israel to re-draw its borders to 1967 lines -- though such borders would be completely indefensible against an inevitable attack -- and the re-division of Jerusalem, which Israel rightly sees as its capital. Meanwhile, the Palestinian side concedes almost nothing and fulfills none of its promises. Neither is it held accountable for its behavior. Next, we heard from Howard Gutman, the U.S. ambassador to Belgium. In the ultimate case of blaming the victim, Gutman seemed to blame Israel for anti-Semitism when he spoke recently at an event hosted by the European Jewish Union. According to The Weekly Standard, Gutman said, "A distinction should be made between traditional anti-Semitism, which should be condemned and Muslim hatred for Jews, which stems from the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians."

If Gutman had studied history, he would know that Muslim hatred of Jews predates by many centuries Israel's 1948 rebirth as a Jewish state.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took her own jabs at Israel. She was quoted in the English edition of the Arab publication, Al-Arabiya, as saying she fears for the future of democracy in Israel and the rights of women. Why? Because of a newspaper story that told of patterns in certain small Orthodox Israeli neighborhoods where women are required to be separate from men in certain situations, such as when taking public transportation.

In case Secretary Clinton hasn't noticed, gender segregation has long been practiced in religiously conservative Muslim societies. Events surrounding the so-called "Arab Spring" do not encourage confidence that women will have more rights and freedom under emerging regimes than they have had under previous dictatorships.

But it is not only Jews who are being singled out for verbal abuse and physical attacks.

In last month's Smithsonian magazine, there was a revealing story by Joshua Hammer about the stepped-up attacks by Egyptian Muslims against Coptic Christians, who trace their lineage to the time of Christ. In fact, notes Hammer, attacks against Coptic churches and individual Christians have increased since Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was deposed. Radical Muslims have little regard for other religious viewpoints. Arab-Israeli relations, or U.S.-Arab relations for that matter, are not likely to improve if the Muslim Brotherhood takes power in the coming election, though you won't be able to convince the U.S. State Department of that. In a November address to the Atlantic Council, William Taylor, the State Department's special coordinator for Middle East transitions pronounced, "What we need to do is judge people and parties and movements on what they do, not what they're called."

Really? The Muslim Brotherhood's 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." Hamas, whose charter calls for the destruction of Israel, grew out of the Muslim Brotherhood. Is that good enough to conclude for everyone, except Taylor, that the Muslim Brotherhood plans to behave very badly toward Israel?

No intelligent person who has observed the media attacks against Israel (not to mention the many wars, countless terrorist incidents and continuing threats directed at Israel's destruction) can credibly conclude that Israel's enemies are merely hyperbolic. Despite all the agreements, goodwill gestures and disproportionate prisoner exchanges in which Israel has released hundreds of alleged terrorists in exchange for a single captured Israeli soldier or civilian, there are people who continue to advance the fiction that only Israel stands in the way of peace.

It's past time to stop taking potshots at Israel and start directing "fire" at the prime suspects behind continuing war and turmoil in the region.

"The Legal and the Political"

Arlene Kushner

When I wrote two days ago about what Alan Dershowitz said at the Begin Center, I expressed some surprise, relative to one particular issue.

What Professor Dershowitz said was that the ICC (International Criminal Court) has no jurisdiction with regard to states where there is an independent judiciary that will handle the situation. And, that the most important weapon in defending Israelis in this venue is Israel's strong judiciary.

What I wrote was that, while I am not a human rights lawyer, I found his comments surprising in light of what I know is Israeli concern about the ICC -- concern that the Palestinian Arabs, if they are recognized as having the authority of a state, might press charges for war crimes via the ICC against those who fight Israel's wars (minister of defense, generals, etc).

I said I wanted to check further. Dershowitz also said that Israel allows the best access to its high court in the world. This is absolutely the case. Anyone in Israeli can petition the court (which decides whether or not to hear the case).

And then he extrapolated, carrying this thought one step further: Don't change this system, he warned, as it might weaken Israel's ability to defend herself in the ICC.

At that point I felt an uneasy sense that Dershowitz might be mixing the legal and the political: drawing on a particular legal take on the matter to reinforce his political position. Or, putting it differently, perhaps allowing his political position to color his legal take. But on Monday I was not yet prepared to consider this in writing.


Israel is currently deeply embroiled in discussion with regard to limiting access to the court (along with other discussions involving the court in which legislators and others are now engaged). Legislation is being proposed that would limit ability to petition the court to individuals with standing in a case.

This, which is being decried in certain quarters as "undemocratic," is precisely how the US Supreme Court works. Let me provide an example. Recently the US Court heard a case regarding the right of American citizens born in Jerusalem to have "Israel" on their birth certificates. The case was brought in the name of a child to whom this situation adheres. No one would have been permitted to come to the Court and say that he or she, even though not affected personally, demands a certain outcome as a general principle.

But what we have here is a situation in which, for example, Peace Now can go into the Court and protest against a particular settlement in Judea or Samaria when no one directly involved, no one who would be affected by the outcome of the case, has protested or registered a claim.

Does it make sense to refrain from modifying this system -- which in the opinion of many badly needs modifying -- because of the ICC?


Today I consulted with an international lawyer of considerable experience.

Leaving aside a number of legal particulars, he said, first, that an "independent judiciary" in and of itself is not enough to insulate us from prosecution by the ICC.

The State (i.e., Israel in this case) has to be willing and able to investigate and prosecute. What this means is spelled out within the Statute of the Court: If there is an unwillingness to prosecute because of a desire to shield an individual from criminal responsibility; or if there is an unjustified delay; or proceedings are not being conducted impartially, the State is not insulated. And so proceedings within our system might provide protection, but the situation is not entirely clear cut.

Would it matter in the slightest if the Israeli court system were adjusted so that only those with standing could petition the court? Well, most probably not, would be the attorney-general who would have to investigate and prosecute. As matters stand now, if the a-g refused to prosecute, in theory, someone might petition the court in order to challenge that decision.


At this point my legal expert paused, and said this would be a very unlikely state of affairs. Then he paused again and made a statement of another sort:

The current debate regarding the Court and the relationship between the Court and other branches of the government is a healthy process that is part of the democratic system. It is dangerous to that democratic process and to the sovereignty of Israel as a nation to bring in international opinions and facts in the course of that debate. It is, in fact, "wrong" to bring in international issues.


We are seeing a triumvirate working on behalf of Obama, attempting to weaken Israel. I've already mentioned Defense Secretary Panetta and Howard Gutman, the US Ambassador to Belgium. But Secretary of State Hillary Clinton must be included.

Clinton spoke at the Brookings Institution's Saban Center last Friday night along with Panetta.

Caroline Glick, in her yesterday's column, "An Ally No More," described at least part of the situation:

"The same Secretary of State that has heralded negotiations with the violent, fanatical misogynists of the Taliban; who has extolled Saudi Arabia where women are given ten lashes for driving, and whose State Department trained female-hating Muslim Brotherhood operatives in the lead-up to the current elections in Egypt accused Israel of repressing women’s rights. The only state in the region where women are given full rights and legal protections became the focus of Clinton’s righteous feminist wrath.

"In the IDF, as in the rest of the country, religious coercion is forbidden. Jewish law prohibits men from listening to women’s voices in song. And recently, when a group of religious soldiers were presented with an IDF band that featured female vocalists, keeping faith with their Orthodox observance, they walked out of the auditorium. The vocalists were not barred from singing. They were not mistreated. They were simply not listened to.

"And as far as Clinton is concerned, this is proof that women in Israel are under attack. Barred by law from forcing their soldiers [to spurn] their religious obligations, IDF commanders were guilty [says Clinton] of crimes against democracy for allowing the troops to exit the hall."


This is not the whole story: there is more being reported with regard to what Clinton said, although I've been unable to locate the text of her speech on the Internet. Her words were delivered at a "closed" session that was not supposed to be public. But public it is!

According to one report, she said that what went on with the women singers reminded her of Iran. Iran?

Another issue she raised was the efforts of ultra-Orthodox haredim in certain limited communities here to promote separate seating for men and woman on the buses they patronize extensively (something not mandated by Jewish law, it should be noted, and not in any way mandated by Israeli law!)

Making a very inept and insulting comparison, she said this called to mind the situation of Rosa Parks (during the time in 1955 when black people were pushed to the back of the bus in Alabama).


Clinton professed "concern" about the "erosion of democracy" in Israel. Heaven forbid that she might praise the strength of Israel's democracy, especially in the face of growing radical Islamist control in surrounding nations. Nope! The name of the game is weakening Israel.

And in this respect, there is yet one other issue she raised: efforts by members of the Knesset to limit the foreign funding of NGOs here.

First of all this is none of her business. We are a sovereign nation, even if she would prefer not to see it that way.

And the fact is that limiting that foreign funding actually makes our system more, not less, democratic. I alluded to Peace Now, above, and its ability to petition the Court. Well, Peace Now receives funding from foreign nations predisposed to establishment of a Palestinian State in Judea and Samaria (which is not how a majority of Israelis are predisposed right now). There is a strong feeling that NGOs registered in Israel should work on behalf of the Israeli populace and not have a sense of being beholden to foreign governments that do funding.


Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) has co-authored with Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) a proposal to penalize foreign financial institutions that do business with Iran's Central Bank by cutting them off from US financial institutions. In spite of lobbying against it by officials from the administration, it passed the Senate unanimously last week. And a similar proposal is pending in the House.

Now, however, Kirk is saying that some legislators' offices have received a communication from the Obama administration that "proposed what they describe as technical fixes."

Says Kirk, "They are not fixes at all. They are meant to undermine the amendment." The administration was suggesting a grace period three times what the original proposal allowed, and "watering down of penalties."

The argument of the administration is that "threatening allies is not the best way to get cooperation." The old Obama line. Be nice. Ineffective, but nice.

But zero hour is approaching with regard to Iran's nuclear capabilities, and hitting Iran's Central Bank is essential. So I have to ask: Just which side is Obama on?



Just days ago, Prime Minister Netanyahu -- in a statement that was both bewildering and absolutely maddening -- explained that there seemed to be a moderating tendency in the PA, and so it was time to release tax funds that Israel had withheld since the PA applied for full membership in UNESCO. Maddening, because of the lack of genuine evidence of PA moderation.

But in light of some new information, it seems possible, if not probable, that he was motivated by some significant additional factors, beyond the normal push by Obama. It appears that he was operating under duress -- subtly blackmailed, is perhaps an accurate description.

According to the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag, as reported by the JPost, German Chancellor Angela Merkel threatened to stop delivery to the Israeli navy of a dolphin-class German submarine capable of carrying nuclear warheads unless he released funds to the PA. Israel has three such submarines now, and they could play an important role in a second strike; possession of yet a another is not an insignificant matter.

No one has come forward to testify publicly to exactly what Merkel said to Netanyahu. But the report by the German paper indicates that the announcement by the German government that it would build for Israel and pay up to one-third the cost of the submarine came immediately after Netanyahu announced the release of the PA funds. What is more, says the paper, the Merkel administration "informed the heads of parties...and leading foreign politicians that Israel made concessions."


Another "hmmm..."

I read what I wrote above, which I will let stand, and I wonder about the cost to us of conceding something -- even for a good purpose -- if "foreign politicians" are told that "Israel made concessions." Hey, if we can make concessions in one situation, there will always be more expected of us down the road. And yet it is probably not possible to function in the real world without concessions sometimes. The trick is deciding when to make those concessions and how -- considering the trade-off and the ramifications.

I would not want to be in Netanyahu's shoes.


Please see the markedly different interpretation of Daniel Pipes on the election in Egypt.

"If the military colludes with Islamists to remain in power, obviously it, and not Islamists retains ultimate control. This is the key point that conventional analysts miss: the recent election results allow the military to keep power."


Within the next five years, 20 million African men and youths will undergo circumcisions. The goal is a reduction in the spread of AIDs: it is anticipated that this will save 3.4 million people from becoming HIV positive and save $16.5 billion in funds that would be needed to care for them. Studies show that the risk of contracting the disease can be reduced by up to 60% if circumcisions are performed.

Israel has been a significant participant in this program -- both advocating this, and providing the expertise on doing the surgery. Israel's expertise with regard to doing circumcisions on adult males is extraordinary because of some 100,000 men -- many from Russia -- who came into the country without having been circumcised and but sought to be fully Jewish. This is now helping to save many lives and enhance medical knowledge in the Third World.


© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by Arlene Kushner, functioning as an independent journalist. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution.

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Wednesday, December 07, 2011

OECD: Israel Fifth in Life Expectancy; Infant Mortality Rate Lowest; Disease Falling; Healthcare Cheaper

Barry Rubin

An Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) report just released says:

–Israeli life expectancy is among the highest in the world (81.6 years in 2009) and fifth among OECD countries

–The infant mortality rate is among the lowest in the world (3.8 deaths per 1,000 births);

—A significant improvement has been recorded in the treatment of chronic diseases. – A significant drop has been seen in mortality rates from heart disease, cancer, and stroke.

– At the same time, healthcare spending per capita is 30% lower than the OECD average.

In short, the world’s most demonized country has a lot to teach the world and especially the Middle East. But instead we are seeing movements and regimes that are economically and socially disastrous being glorified.

Comment: We do all of this even while "sustaining the status quo". You see dear government officials, political players and pundits we are able to produce these results in the face of dangers all around us-no thanks to you by the way. How is it that you do not ever report these facts, why do you not ask critical questions of our enemies why they cannot achieve similar outcomes-thes are the questions the international community should be asking!


"Deception: Betraying the Peace Process" catalogues and contextualizes
the PA's numerous violations of commitments to peace process,
reveals flagrant messages of hate;
Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel and prominent human rights leader
Robert L. Bernstein condemn spread of hatred against Israel
and glorification of terror in the PA

NEW YORK, December 6, 2011 - Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), an Israeli research institute studying Palestinian society and its leadership through its Arabic language media, today announced the release of Deception: Betraying the Peace Process, a new book describing the systematic hate speech used by the Palestinian Authority (PA) even as they portray themselves to the world as pursuing peace.

At a press conference today, the authors and human rights activists warned that the hate speech and incitement against Israel by PA leaders is the fundamental impediment to achieving peace. In the book, authors Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik document numerous breaches in the PA's commitments to recognize Israel, to cease hate incitement and to reject violence and terror - requirements established by the international community and accepted by the PA. The book meticulously catalogues hundreds of examples of hate speech, glorification of terrorist murderers and other anti-Israel communication, detailing efforts to spread hate even among school-aged children.

"Well documented, Deception confronts a disturbing discovery; Palestinian texts contain scandalous anti-Semitic pages," said Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel. "They incite young children to hate Jews not only in Israel but wherever they live. They must be denounced by all students of history."

"The PA's campaign of hate speech and demonization of Israelis and Jews is a denial of basic human rights and is used to maintain political control at the cost of negotiating for real and lasting peace. This book is important because it is not advocacy but a factual catalogue of public statements and activities showing that the Palestinian leadership teaches its children to hate, to deny Israel's right to exist and to envision a world without Israel," said Robert Bernstein, Chairman of Advancing Human Rights, Founding Chairman Emeritus of Human Rights Watch and Chairman and President of Random House from 1965-1990.

The breadth and impact of the PA's efforts are made chillingly clear in the 267-page book. Examining the totality of the PA's activities and statements during the one-year period beginning with the renewal of the peace process in May 2010 through April 2011, the authors assert that "the peace process has yet to begin; a peace process may never have been intended." The book takes the reader on a journey through hundreds of the PA's cultural events, educational media and political leaders' statements, citing ways the PA conveys one message to the international community through official communications channels and another, very different message of hate to the Palestinian people using the Arabic language.

"The PA has intensified its diplomatic campaign, claiming it has fulfilled its commitments and is advancing peace," said Marcus. "But PA leaders' communications to their own people in speeches, at events, through the media it controls and in children's magazines contradict the content of its diplomatic stance."

At today's press conference, Itamar Marcus presented an overview of Deception, citing examples of the ways in which the PA uses the cultural, educational and media structures it controls to distance its people from reconciliation with Israel. Wiesel and Bernstein condemned the PA's indoctrination and education of children, which continues to undermine any chance for reconciliation and lasting peace.

"Until the PA starts preparing its children for peace and teaches them to see Israel as a legitimate neighbor, peace will remain an illusion," said Bernstein. "Deception should be read as a warning. Government-sponsored hate speech is incompatible with peace."

PMW has published hundreds of documents, in-depth reports and other research since 1996, chronicling the PA leadership's ongoing hate and terror promotion. Deception is the latest and most comprehensive compilation of evidence to date, representing a year-long monitoring of Palestinian activities, statements and educational resources. It draws a clear picture of the PA's destructive spoken, written and visual messages of hate against Israel that have become a major impediment to peace.

"Unless the PA changes its messages that only 'Palestine' exists and not Israel, that Jews are inherently evil and that terrorists are role models, and unless the PA turns to peace education, there is no chance of achieving authentic peace," says Zilberdik.

Select examples from Deception include:

- The authors draw a direct correlation between the PA's messages of hate speech that demonize Israelis and Jews and bolster the glorification of terror and a child's perception of Hitler as a positive role model. They offer an example of an essay submitted by a Palestinian teenage girl to a PA-funded educational magazine presenting Hitler as a hero because he killed Jews. In her essay, Hitler tells the girl in a dream: "I killed them so you would all know that they are a nation which spreads destruction all over the world."

- The authors detail examples of how the PA uses libels and lies to demonize Israelis, including various accusations that have been promoted via communications and media channels: Israel intentionally spreads AIDS, drugs and prostitution among Palestinians; Israel has plans to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque; and Israel poisoned Yasser Arafat.

- The authors illustrate how the glorification of terror and terrorists remains a mainstay of PA policy, as evidenced in the numerous summer camps, sports tournaments and events named after Palestinian terrorists.

- The authors point to examples of the PA's constant denial of the legitimacy of Israel's existence. An official PA TV video clip broadcast during the peace talks described Israelis as foreigners on stolen land who should all leave Israel.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Guardian Angels

Ari Bussel

I was sitting on a chair at Cedars, an IV sticking into my hand, a tray next to me with big bottles of medication to drink. Nurses were bringing in other patients, each waiting for another exam. We all sat next to each other on a row of chairs, somewhat reminiscent of a train station or a gate at an airport. Except we were in gowns, each assigned a staff member to accompany us during the procedures. A male nurse was busy with my tray, about to inject something into me. He handed me a blue bag, somewhat similar to an airline sickness bag. “Most patients want to vomit,” he said, “it will be fast, you will start throwing up within less than a minute.”

A lady seated two chairs from me looked up and said: “But others do not, so say you are one of those who do not.” As she did, he injected whatever-it-was he needed to inject. The seconds marched on, but I was fine. I was concentrating on what the lady said, so without noticing the dangerous time zone passed, and I was saved. I was ready for the next stop.

The lady was older than I, but not an old lady. She was wearing a hospital gown given when we have to change from our clothes into something more “suitable” for tests. White not green ones that do not close completely. She was not concerned one bit that I was holding the sickness bag in my hand and any second might throw up on her. Instead, she bid me good luck, or farewell or just plain “be healthy.” I do not remember exactly, but she was my guardian angel.

The nursing staff sitting together nearby was also good, all twelve of them. I am not sure what they were all doing, although Joe, the male nurse, was talking about moving with his wife to the Stanford Hospital, and Tania was just coming back from some meeting she had to attend. A third was making arrangements for a staff meeting at nearby Capital Grill (apparently they are paid handsomely enough to afford such treats).

They were all working as a group, assignments shared, although primary responsibility per patient remained the individual nurse’s. They were committed, concerned, professional, but something was lacking. It was that human touch a fellow patient had brought when she ignored for a moment her own concerns, worries and fears, aches and pains and dispensed advice to a complete stranger.

After it was all said and done, I was once again in a waiting room, told to drink a lot of water to help the body drain itself of some of the poisons injected into me. An older lady on a wheel chair in a fur coat turned and said: “Young man, are you standing behind me?”

I moved around so she could see me, and she said: “What did you say, I cannot hear you, I am ninety-one you know!”

She was there alone, and in the next minute or so gave me an earful of what she thinks about Newt Gingrich who was then on the CNN nightly news. “Oh, what a disaster to the United States,” she said. “If he becomes POTUS, President Of The United States. And what is FLOTUS? First Lady Of The United States,” she immediately added. Young people today have to be taught everything, so little they know.

Clearly I was in the presence of an old-yet-lively die-hard Democrat. I knew it is not the place to argue the ill wills of our current President, or the imperative for change, unless I wanted a kick in the butt from a not-so-young-yet-feisty lady. So I said, “I cannot switch the channel, it is set on one channel only. But this is the nightly news, in a few moments the subject matter is bound to change.”

“What did you say, young man? I am ninety-one and I cannot hear. Speak louder!”

At that time, another technician came out and pronounced her name. How did I know it was her, having met her for the very first time just moments ago? Since other than her, there were only two of us in the sitting area, neither of us a woman. The technician thought I was with her, a family member or a companion. She was alone. “Young man, I am ninety-one and I cannot hear,” she said as he introduced himself.

I saw her later at the main entrance, as she directed staff with arrangements on how to get her back home. You see, she is ninety-one and she told me how Cedars Sinai came into being (the merger of Cedars of Lebanon and Mount Sinai). She went into detail, but I was otherwise “out,” focused on getting water into my system after seventeen hours of fasting and all sorts of unidentifiable chemicals newly inside my body.

There was another guardian angel, a cleaning lady. I paced up and down the corridor, waiting for a CD with the test results, and a cleaning lady mistook my pacing as an urgent need to enter the restroom she was about to clean. “No, thank you,” I said, unaware I would be rushing in just a few minutes later, even before she finished its cleaning.

She, too, bid me good health, as if looking out for my wellbeing, protecting me. A complete stranger, and I did not even have tubes or needles, plastics or bandages attached. I was not in a gown, nor was I in a hospital bed. Yet, somehow she knew. Somehow she made certain I was okay.

Complete strangers, each one an angel in disguise. Actually not in disguise at all, just angels guiding and protecting, smiling and accompanying. A blessing surrounding us.

Remember how important it is to be an angel the next time you are rushing into or just plain sitting in a waiting room. Stop, look at others, smile at them and offer a listening ear or a helping hand. It is a two-way blessing. First for them, then for you. Complete strangers, like candles in the darkness, or the sound of bells or lights on the holiday.

May it be a holiday season full of blessings, primarily good health, and sprinkled with laughter. May we know to recognize, enjoy and appreciate all we have.

The series “Postcards from America—Postcards from Israel” by Ari Bussel and Norma Zager is a compilation of articles capturing the essence of life in America and Israel during the first two decades of the 21st Century.

The writers invite readers to view and experience an Israel and her politics through their eyes, Israel visitors rarely discover and Israelis often ignore.

This point—and often—counter-point presentation is sprinkled with humor and sadness and attempts to tackle serious and relevant issues of the day. The series began in 2008, appears both in print in the USA and on numerous websites and is followed regularly by readership from around the world.

Zager and Bussel can be heard on live radio in conversation on the program “Conversations Eye to Eye between Norma and Ari.”

© “Postcards from America — Postcards from Israel,” December, 2011


Monday, December 05, 2011

"Keeping Afloat"

Arlene Kushner

Last night I attended a multi-part event at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center, with the theme "Defending Israel and International Law":

It was, first, a book launch, as NGO-Monitor introduced its new book, "The Goldstone Report 'Reconsidered' -- A Critical Analysis."

Professor Gerald Steinberg -- NGO-Monitor Director and co-editor, with Anne Herzberg, of the book -- explained the genesis of this work, which has been three years in the making.
As it was also a panel discussion, the experts gathered provided additional information regarding the situation that Israel regularly confronts with regard to international law -- the situation that made the writing of this book so very important.


The war in Gaza known as Cast Lead was initiated by Israel at the very end of 2008, and ran into the first weeks of 2009. It was a necessary response to the barrage of rockets -- each a human rights violation if not a war crime in and of itself -- being launched by Hamas against Israeli civilians.

As Major General Avichai Mandelblit, outgoing Military Advocate General of the IDF, explained, in this war Israel confronted asymmetric warfare. This does not mean that one side was more powerful or better equipped than the other. Rather, it means that one side played by the rules of international law and the other did not. This places the law-abiding side, in this instance Israel, in a very difficult if not impossible situation.

Flash 90

Hamas put civilians in the way of military targets. Either the IDF refrains from firing at the targets, or fires and runs the risk of also hitting civilians. Hamas is likely to come out a winner whatever Israel does.


If Israel does fire, accusations are then leveled against Israel: Israel is aiming at civilians and is guilty of war crimes! Israel deliberately hit a UN school that had students inside! Says General Mandelblit, a war can be lost this way, whatever victories are achieved in the field. For, today fighting a war has to include the legal and media fronts as well as the military and the political.

Because of experiences in the past with regard to this sort of thing, the situation was anticipated. And so, the general, in consultation with appropriate persons within the government, made the decision that every single incident during Cast Lead in which an accusation against Israel was made had to be checked.

Said General Mandelblit last night, "This was first for ourselves, to be sure we are what we claim to be." Please mark this well, as it's a point of enormous pride and should be understood by all.

And then, of course, it's a matter of defense with regard to the legal and media fronts. The investigations prepared Israel to fight the accusations.


After the war, the notoriously anti-Israel UN Human Rights Council mandated a mission to investigate the charges against Israel; South African Justice Richard Goldstone accepted the role as head of this mission. After an "investigation" was held, a major report was released under the aegis of the Human Rights Council.

In a word, it was horrendous. Politicizing international law, the report accused Israel of deliberately targeting civilians, while it made no charges of war crimes against Hamas. Often there was not even an attempt to verify or document charges against Israel made in large part by hostile NGOs.

Professor Avi Bell, who was a member of the panel last night and is a contributor to the book, said that this report infuriates him as a Jew and an Israel. But also as a professor of law. The evidence it presented was turned upside down and great damage was done to the rule of justice.

Professor Bell said he is asked what Israel might do to forestall such situations as this in the future.

His answer: Nothing. When you look at the institution that mandated the report and those who headed and participated in its mission, that becomes clear.


Professor Steinberg pointed out that Goldstone had prior connections with Kenneth Roth, who heads the NGO Human Rights Watch.

(The founder of Human Rights Watch, Robert L. Bernstein, no longer with the agency, went public in 2009, in the NY Times, with his criticism of what HRW under Roth had become: "with increasing frequency, [HRW] casts aside its important distinction between open and closed societies... The region is populated by authoritarian regimes with appalling human rights records. Yet in recent years Human Rights Watch has written far more condemnations of Israel for violations of international law than of any other country in the region.")

In addition, members of the commission, before they were appointed, had signed a letter spearheaded by Amnesty International accusing Israel of war crimes; their bias was apparent but did not disqualify them.


The government of Israel, understanding that no justice would derive from the Goldstone investigation, officially declined to participate. However, NGO-Monitor did submit information, all of which was ignored.

Richard Goldstone, in a Washington Post op-ed in April of this year, was said to have submitted a "retraction," but it was highly qualified. What is more, his excuse for why there were inaccuracies was disingenuous: he claimed that the report erred in some measure because Israel had not provided necessary information. But, as mentioned above, there was information provided that was completely ignored.

The members of the Goldstone Commission -- Christine Chenkin, Desmond Travers, and Hina Jilani -- totally disassociated themselves from the Goldstone op-ed and declared that no changes in the report could be made.

The UN did not retract the report or any part of it. It stands on the record.


Thus is the NGO-Monitor book -- which examines the process of the Goldstone investigation and provides a step-by-step rebuttal -- so important. It is now part of the historical record and will be placed in law libraries for reference. Professor Steinberg speaks about restoring morality to human rights activism. He advocates speaking truth to power.

See here for more information on the book including a list of its contributors, their subjects, and how it can be ordered:


Also a member of the panel last night was Alan Dershowitz, Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and a contributor to the book.

I have saved mention of him for last because he played two roles during the evening, as he was also the recipient of the Begin Award of Honor for his work on behalf of Israel. He actually spoke twice -- and about various matters (such as his recollections of Menachem Begin's strong defense of human rights) and not just about the Goldstone report.

A staunch defender of human rights himself during the course of his career as an attorney, he shared several observations. Some I will write about here, others I hope to return to at another time.

The issue of human rights, he said, is used as a weapon against democracies that adhere to human rights. And the biggest censors of free speech are on the left.

He expressed particular scorn for the International Court of Justice, which dispenses nothing resembling justice.

(The Court is the primary judicial organ of the UN, and its judges are elected by the Security Council and the General Assembly. It is supposed to settle legal disputes between states and provide advisory opinions on various questions.)

The Justices, said Professor Dershowitz, make decisions in accordance with the foreign policy of their respective nations. This is so blatant that the way a particular judge will rule can be predicted by considering the stance of the country he comes from.

(Some seven years ago, the Court provided an advisory opinion on the matter of the Security Fence built by Israel to keep out terrorists, calling it a violation of international law. This despite the fact that Israel's High Court had ruled that the fence was legal according to international law and consistent with Israel's security needs, that Israel had not consented to the involvement of the court, and that fences are built in many places in the world. While the ruling of the Court is not binding, it influences international public opinion.)


The International Criminal Court (ICC) is different, however, says Professor Dershowitz, and he himself argues before it.

(The ICC, established by Statute in 2002, is a permanent tribunal that can prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.)

In the case of this court, there is no jurisdiction in states where there is an independent judiciary that will handle the situation. In fact, the most important weapon in defending Israelis in this venue is Israel's strong judiciary.

(I am not a human rights lawyer, but I find his comments here surprising in light of what I know is Israeli concern about the ICC -- concern, for example, about the intention of certain parties to attempt to prosecute in the ICC for war crimes those who fight Israel's wars. I will check further.)


As to Alan Dershowitz's defense of Israel, it is clear that he is a passionate and very articulate advocate of Israel -- something greatly to be valued. I acknowledge much appreciation for his efforts, even as I do not agree with several of the positions he holds, as, by his own definition, someone who is "center-left."

To be a supporter of Israel is to never rest, he says.

He does not believe that democracy in Israel is threatened by some of the legislation now being proposed. And I will come back to this. Some of the limits being proposed, he observed, would bring Israel in line with practices of countries such as the US and Canada.

Lastly, he observed that no issue in Israel is domestic. The world holds such a magnifying glass to our actions, that everything becomes the subject of international comment. He mentioned Secretary of State Clinton in this regard, and this, as well, I would like to return to.


© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by Arlene Kushner, functioning as an independent journalist. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution.

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Iran Lures Argentina into Trans-Atlantic Terror Axis

Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

Iran is trying to spread its international terrorist axis by luring Argentina to join Venezuela in a trans-Atlantic terror axis, diplomats told Reuters.

The Latin American country’s links with Iran have been suspected ever since 1992, when Hizbullah claimed responsibility for killing 29 people in a bombing at the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires.

Two years later, the bombing of the Jewish community center in the same city killed 85 people. More than a decade later, five Iranian terrorists and one from Lebanon were named as suspects in involvement in the attack.

Argentina all but broke ties with Iran after the bombing, but a European envoy told Reuters, "As the rest of us work to pressure Iran to end its nuclear weapons program and stop supporting terrorism, Argentina's government has been considering moving in the opposite direction," For example, exports from Argentine to Iran soared 70 percent last year. Ostensibly, Argentina is not on friendly terms with the Islamic Republic and last month even backed a United Nations human rights committee resolution condemning Tehran for violating human rights.

Argentina has not forgotten the 1994 bombing and wants Iran to investigate its part in the attack. Nevertheless, president Cristina Fernandez told the General Assembly that she is making an offer to renew dialogue with Iran, “an offer…that Iran cannot and should not turn down.”

An indication of Argentina’s good intentions towards Iran was its ambassador’s remaining in the UN General Assembly when Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad delivered his annual address in September. In the past, Argentina instructed its envoy to leave the hall when he spoke.

Iran already has formed a strong alliance with Venezuela, under the regime of Hugo Chavez, and Bolivia also is a close friend. Adding Argentina, which is a member of the International Energy Atomic Agency, would give Ahmadinejad more backing in his campaign to resist United Nations inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Iran’s rabid anti-Zionist regime is looking forward to closer relations with Argentine, which senior Iranian official Mohammed Javad Larjiani told Reuters ”have been the subject of Israeli sabotage.”

One factor holding back Argentina from a tight alliance with Iran is its worry of angering the United States, at least for the time being.

Panetta's panacea

Yoram Ettinger

U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has played a key role in the misreading of the Middle East by the CIA and the Pentagon. Panetta’s severe miscomprehension of the Middle East, as well as his oversimplified worldview, were reflected by his Dec. 2, 2011 speech at the Brookings Institute in Washington, DC.

Panetta was a member of the 2006 Iraq Study Group, which recommended that Iran and Syria be co-opted into the effort to stabilize Iraq. He was unfamiliar with a basic Middle East truism: Iran and Syria have been the historical arch-enemies of Iraq, as well as two of the most ruthless, anti-U.S. terrorist regimes in the world. Marshaling his experience as a former chairman of the House Budget Committee, Clinton’s White House chief of staff and member of the board of the New York Stock Exchange, Panetta has praised the “Technological Youth Revolution” on the Arab Street. He misconceives the eruption of the Islamic political lava, which consumes and destabilizes relatively pro-Western Arab regimes, as an “Arab Awakening” and the “March of Democracy.”

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Panetta supported the 2009 decision to court the (then) illegal anti-Mubarak, anti-U.S., subversive, Islamic-supremacist Muslim Brotherhood. He backed the decision to invite Muslim Brotherhood leaders to Obama’s Cairo University speech on June 4, 2009, which was perceived by Egyptians as the abandonment of Mubarak by the U.S. – a repeat of President Carter’s abandonment of the Shah of Iran.

In 2010, he perpetuated the Assad-placating legacy of the Iraq Study Group, considering the return of the U.S. ambassador to Damascus – after five years of absence – as a worthy engagement with Bashar Assad, who was perceived as a potentially constructive leader by the Obama Administration.

The Dec. 2, 2011 rebuke of Israel, by Secretary Panetta - "just get to the damn table" - was symptomatic of the Iraq Study Group state of mind. The Iraq Study Group believed in the centrality of the Palestinian issue in Middle Eastern politics, as well as in shaping Arab attitudes toward the U.S. Therefore, Panetta and his colleagues assume that a U.S.-driven resolution of the Palestinian issue would be a key panacea to regional conflicts, improving Arab sentiments toward the U.S.

Unimpressed by the Palestinian-free turmoil in each Arab country, Panetta still believes in the Palestinian centrality and in the linkage between the Israel-Palestinian negotiations on the one hand and the seismic developments, which threaten the survival of pro-U.S. Arab regimes irrespective of the Palestinian issue or Israel’s existence, on the other.

Undeterred by the anti-Western about-face of Ankara’s policy and the expected 180-degree turn of Cairo’s alignment in regional and global affairs, Panetta urges Israel to mend fences with Turkey, Egypt and Jordan, as a major step toward regional stability. He maintains that a strategic common ground exists between solidly pro-U.S. Israel and Turkey, which has anointed itself the leader of the Muslim world, Egypt, which is trending toward a Muslim Brotherhood dictatorship and Jordan, which collaborated with Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990.

Panetta warns Israel of its isolation in the Middle East, failing to realize that Israel’s splendid isolation sets it apart from the treacherous, unreliable, unstable and increasingly anti-U.S. region. Contrary to Panetta’s observation, Israel’s isolation from the Arab Street has been its badge of honor, highlighting its shared Judeo-Christian values with the U.S. Israel’s isolation from the hate-driven region has made it a unique unconditional, democratic, added-value ally of the U.S., providing the U.S. with cutting-edge commercial and defense technologies, invaluable intelligence and an unshakable alliance.

Panetta’s simplistic view of the Middle East erodes the U.S. posture of deterrence. His rebuke of Israel forces the Arabs to further radicalize their demands, policy and terrorism, lest they be outflanked by the U.S. from the hawkish side. It does not get them to “the damn table;” it gets them away from “the damn table.”

Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood Ideology


Central messages:
1- Muslims are "masters of the world"
2- Islamic nation's "rightful position... the teachers of humanity"
3- "There is no other option but Jihad for Allah
4- Fighting Israel is "Jihad against the criminal, thieving gangs of Zion"
5- Has the [Muslim] Brotherhood grown weary of the challenges, thrown down their guns and abandoned Jihad?!! No!"

by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik

The Muslim Brotherhood took first place in Egypt's first round of elections last week with 40% of the vote and the Salafist Islamists received 20%. In order to understand the implications, Palestinian Media Watch is redistributing our translation of the book Jihad Is the Way, written by Mustafa Mashhur, who was the official leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt 1996-2002. The book is the fifth volume of his work called The Laws of Da'wa (Islamic missionary activity). n the book Jihad Is the Way the fundamental concepts of the Muslim Brotherhood ideology are explained, including, the Muslim Brotherhood's goal of establishing an Islamic state, world domination under Islam, the public and personal religious duty of military Jihad, and the necessity of timing the ultimate Jihad properly. The book warns Muslims not to rush to Jihad until Jihad is prepared and timed fully for maximum benefit. The current period is seen by the Muslim Brotherhood as one of obligatory preparation for that coming Jihad.
Click to view full translation in PDF

PMW has selected the following quotes from Jihad Is the Way to illustrate central ideas of Muslim Brotherhood ideology. PMW's translation of the book follows below.

Muslim Brotherhood goal: Islamic world domination
- "...the Islamic Ummah [nation]... can regain its power and be liberated and assume its rightful position which was intended by Allah, as the most exalted nation among men, as the teachers of humanity..."
- "...know your status, and believe firmly that you are the masters of the world, even if your enemies desire your degradation..."
- "It should be known that Jihad and preparation towards Jihad are not only for the purpose of fending-off assaults and attacks of Allah's enemies from Muslims, but are also for the purpose of realizing the great task of establishing an Islamic state and strengthening the religion and spreading it around the world..."
- "... Jihad for Allah is not limited to the specific region of the Islamic countries, since the Muslim homeland is one and is not divided, and the banner of Jihad has already been raised in some of its parts, and it shall continue to be raised, with the help of Allah, until every inch of the land of Islam will be liberated, the State of Islam will be established..."

Means: Jihad - a mandatory religious duty
-"Then comes the power of arms and weapons,... and this is the role of Jihad."
- "Jihad is a religious public duty... incumbent upon the Islamic nation, and is a personal duty to fend off the infidels' attack on the nation..."
- "And the youth should know that the problems of the Islamic world, such as Palestine, Afghanistan, Syria, Eritrea, or the Philippines, are not issues of territories and nations, but of faith and religion. They are problems of Islam and the Muslims, and they can be resolved neither by negotiation nor by recognizing the enemy's right to the Islamic land he stole. Rather, the only option but Jihad for Allah, and this is why Jihad is the way."
- "The symbol of the [Muslim] Brotherhood is the book of Allah [the Quran] between two swords. The swords symbolize Jihad and the force that protects the truth represented in Allah's book."
- "...that is, go out to battle, oh believers, young and old, by foot or with animal, under all circumstances and conditions..."

Timing: Don't rush, prepare carefully for Jihad
- "... despite this, the [Muslim] Brotherhood is not rushed by youth's enthusiasm into immature and unplanned action which will not alter the bad reality and may even harm the Islamic activity, and will benefit the people of falsehood..."
- "... one should know that it is not necessary that the Muslims will repel every attack or damage caused by the enemies of Allah immediately, but [only] when ability and the circumstances are fit to it."
- "Prepare yourself and train in the art of warfare, and embrace the causes of power. You must learn the ways and manners and laws of war. You must learn them and embrace them and adhere to them, so that your Jihad will be the one accepted by Allah."
- "... there exists an unavoidable personal duty for every Muslim to equip himself and prepare and gear-up towards Jihad..."

Personal goal: Aspire to Shahada - Death for Allah
- "Allah is our goal, the Prophet is our leader, the Quran is our constitution, the Jihad is our way, and the death for Allah is our most exalted wish."
- "The Jihad is our way and death for Allah is our most exalted wish, this is the call which we have always called, ... Many of our beloved ones have already achieved this wish, ... We ask Allah to accept all of them, ... and may He join us with them..."

Jihad against Israel:
- "Honorable brothers have achieved Shahada (Martyrdom) on the soil of beloved Palestine, during the years 47' and 48', [while] in their Jihad against the criminal, thieving, gangs of Zion. The Imam and Shahid (Martyr) Hassan Al-Banna is considered as a Shahid (Martyr) of Palestine, even if he was not killed on its soil."

The Laws of Da'wa (Islamic missionary activity) (Part 5)

Jihad is the Way


Mustafa Mashhur*
[*Mustafa Mashhur was the fifth General Guide, the official leader, of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt from 1996 until his death in 2002.]

Publishing House: "Dar al-Tawziah wal-Nashr al-Islamia"

[Islamic Publishing and Distribution House], 1995

Publishing House's Address: Zayneed Square 8 [Cairo, Egypt]

Translated by Palestinian Media Watch

PMW translation policy:
PMW has included all the main texts, ideologies, policies, views, and explanations expressed in this book, while leaving out numerous repetitions as well as some of the many Quran sources cited to support the ideology. Passages left out are indicated by three dots.

Islamic terms referring to seeking and obtaining Martyrdom death are translated as follows:
Shahada = "Martyrdom for Allah", appears as: Shahada (Martyrdom)
Shahid = "Martyr for Allah", appears as: Shahid (Martyr)
Istish'had = "Seeking Martyrdom for Allah", appears as: Istish'had (Martyrdom-Seeker)
or alternatively:
Istish'had = "Achieved Martyrdom for Allah", appears as: Istish'had (achieved Martyrdom)

Quran translations are based on USC-MSA-Compendium of Muslim Texts


The Laws of Da'wa (Islamic missionary activity) (Part) 5

Jihad is the Way


Mustafa Mashhur

Jihad is the way. We need to be fully aware of this and to act and follow in its way. The faltering of faith has led the Muslims to their current state: one of laxity, disintegration, the dominion of Allah's enemies over the Muslim's resources, and the succumbing of some of them to abandoning their faith. The revival of the faith is the starting point for the revival and revitalization of the Islamic Ummah [nation], so that it can regain its power and be liberated and assume its rightful position which was intended by Allah, as the most exalted nation among men, as the teachers of humanity, and through this religion of truth they will deliver humanity from darkness unto light.

Together with the power of faith, there is no escaping from the power of unity among the Muslims to unify efforts. Then comes the power of arms and weapons, when nothing else will suffice, and this is the role of Jihad. The Imam (Muslim religious leader) and Shahid (Martyr), Hassan al-Banna (founder of the Muslim Brotherhood) learned of the need for these three forces, from the biography of the Prophet [Muhammad], may Allah bless him and give him peace...

Many questions arise regarding the Muslim Brotherhood's stance as to Jihad... There is one who asks: Is the meaning of Jihad to force non-Muslims to become Muslim under threat of violence? While another says: Do you want to fight Allah's enemies in the East and West while they are immensely powerful and you are weak...? ... And some say do you want, through the Jihad, to send Muslim youth to their death and to hand them over as easy prey to the enemies of Islam? At the same time we hear those among the enthusiastic youth who say: Has the [Muslim] Brotherhood grown weary after the challenges, thrown down its weapons and abandoned Jihad? Yet another says: Do you wish, with this passivity, to weaken the youth's vigor and kill the spirit of Jihad in them?

Another asks: How long will you content yourselves with Da'wa (Islamic missionary activity) and education without Jihad, while the enemies of Allah lie in wait and attack you from time to time, and you confront their attacks with submissiveness and without resistance?

These are all questions which are brought up regarding the [Muslim] Brotherhood and their position on Jihad... We feel it necessary to make these matters clear to all of us so that there will be a unified understanding and the efforts shall be unified with Allah's help.

Mustafa Mashhur
...Our Islamic religion is not a religion of priests and monks, who worship their Lord individually without taking interest in others... but rather it is a complete religion which organizes peoples' lives in this world as well as in the next life: It organizes the economic, social and political matters of Muslims and still - [is] a religion of faith, law and ritual, which addresses every minor and major issue related to man...
It is, additionally, a religion of one nation, one society, one Qibla (prayer direction, i.e., Mecca) and one book. It transforms the Muslims into one body in their mutual relations, if one of its limbs suffers; the whole body comes to its protection...

The religion [of Islam] requires its believers to perform its laws and the rules of the Quran and the prophetic traditions, and to deliver this religion of truth to all of humanity...

Is it possible for such a religion to exist and for its believers to fulfill all of its requirements without the adherents of other beliefs persecuting it with attacks on the religion and its followers, and without their attempting to prevent the believers from performing this religion and establishing it? Should the believers of this religion cease to perform it... simply because the enemies of Allah attack them? And if they [Muslims] endure patiently, does this mean that this patience has no end? Do they not have a right to repel the aggression and to remove the hurdles from their path?

From this it is evident that Jihad is an inevitable necessity, and that's why it was made a religious duty in Islam, [a duty] which exists till the day of Resurrection. It is also the reason why [Islam] has excited the interest in [Jihad] and hastened towards it, and made it the highest pinnacle of Islam; Without it, the religion has no revival and the people of falsehood take over, and the religion of Allah becomes invalid and life is corrupted and goes astray from the path that Allah wanted. Is this appropriate for the religion of Allah, Exalted and Almighty?

In this book, we will clarify several issues pertaining to [the place of] Jihad in Islam...
Islam has dedicated much attention to the issue of Jihad and militancy and recruiting the nation and gathering it all in one line in order to defend the truth with all its might; it [Islam] has rendered Jihad a religious duty for every Muslim, which no [Muslim] can escape, and has aroused the will towards [performing] Jihad to the greatest degree; It has greatly increased the rewards for the Mujahidun (Jihad warriors) and the Shahids (Martyrs), and has threatened the procrastinators and those who avoid Jihad with the most terrible punishments...

[Translator's note: What follows are quotes from Hassan al-Banna on
Jihad, fighting and Istish'had [Martyrdom-Seeker or achieved Martyrdom]

... The Imam and Shahid (Martyr) [Hassan al-Banna] writes in his Treatise on Jihad: "All of the sages, the earlier and the later ones... agree that Jihad is a religious public duty to spread Da'wa (Islamic missionary activity) incumbent upon the Islamic nation, and is a personal duty to fend off the infidels' attack on the nation... The Muslims today, as you know, are humiliated by others, dominated by infidels, their land is overrun and their holy places are desecrated... Therefore there exists an unavoidable personal duty for every Muslim to equip himself and prepare and gear-up towards Jihad until the opportunity arises and Allah will determine His word."

The Shahid (Martyr) Imam (Hassan al-Banna) said in another place of his Jihad Treatise about the tradition [attributed to Muhammad]: "We have returned from the smaller Jihad to the greater Jihad. They said: "And what is the greater Jihad? He said: the Jihad of the heart or the Jihad of the soul." He said: "This tradition is not authentic Hadith (tradition) and some say that it was said by Ibrahim b. 'Abla...

Allah has imposed the duty of Jihad on the Muslims, not as a tool for aggression or for achieving personal aspirations, but in order to defend the Da'wa (Islamic missionary activity), and to ensure the peace and as fulfillment of the Muslims' greatest mission, to guide people to truth and justice...

On mercifulness during Jihad, according to Hassan al-Banna: Allah has instructed the Muslims to be utmost merciful, when they fight they do not attack, and do not blow up (anything), and do not mutilate (dead) bodies, and do not steal, and do not plunder property, and do not desecrate (sanctity), and do not come to harm, because in their war they are the best warriors, just as they in their peace are the best peace-lovers. In addition to this it is forbidden to kill women, children and elderly, finish off wounded, provoke monks and isolated people and peaceful non-combatants.
Where is that compassion in the suffocating attacks of the civilized and the horrible atrocities and where does their International law stand in relation to this all-encompassing divine justice? Then he [Hassan al-Banna] turns to Allah and says: Allah, instruct Muslims in their religion, and save this world from this darkness through the lights of Islam.

The Muslim Brotherhood's stance regarding Jihad
Jihad for Allah's sake has been forcing itself upon the Islamic region in recent years, and has become tangibly noticeable in parts of the Islamic world. In other parts of the Islamic world, there is a tide of preparation for Jihad and a sense that it is unavoidable, and is the only way to retaliate against the aggressiveness of Allah's enemies, and to liberate Islamic land from its occupiers and invaders. It has become a widespread and convincing opinion, that the way of negotiation and peace-treaties with Allah's enemies instead of Jihad is surrender in the name of peace.

Additionally, without Jihad and the preparation towards it, the obligation cast upon every Muslim to establish an Islamic state and the Islamic Caliphate and to consolidate this religion, will not be realized...

He [Hassan al-Banna] felt the grave danger overshadowing the Muslims and the urgent need and obligation which Islam places on every Muslim, man and woman, to act in order to restore the Islamic Caliphate and to reestablish the Islamic State on strong foundations... and to liberate the Muslims and defend them from any attack, and to spread the Da'wa (Islamic missionary activity) of Islam in the world and to establish this great religion, which Allah wanted for his servants.

This is how the Prophet educated the Muslims through the Quran... and united them like brothers and arranged them and rushed them towards Jihad and [self-] sacrifice, until they were worthy of Allah's victory and support, and this is how the Arabian Peninsula was cleansed of idolatry and idols, and the Persian lands were conquered, and the Greeks [the Byzantines] subdued and the Jews [were] expelled and the shadows were dispersed and the light was spread...

He (Hassan al-Banna) knew the role of Jihad in leading the Da'wa (Islamic missionary activity) and the importance of preparing for it, because the truth needs a force to protect it. He noticed that the spirit of Jihad was almost absent from the Muslims of that time and the spirit of surrender prevailed.

The Jihad is Our Way - The Motto of the Da'wa (Islamic missionary activity)
... "Allah is our goal, the Prophet is our leader, the Quran is our constitution, the Jihad is our way, and the death for Allah is our most exalted wish."
The symbol of the [Muslim] Brotherhood is the book of Allah [the Quran] between two swords. The swords symbolize Jihad and the force that protects the truth represented in Allah's book...

[I]n all his (Hassan al-Banna's) writings and conversations, he always urged towards Jihad and aroused the desire for seeking Shahada (Martyrdom)... he did not content himself only with speech and writing, and when the opportunity arrived for Jihad in Palestine he hurried and seized it. The [Muslim] Brotherhood provided the most magnificent models [for Jihad and courage] and were it not for the [evil] scheming and the treachery on the part of the leaders of the Muslim countries of the time, the situation would have been different.

After Allah honored him with Shahada (Martyrdom) -and his murder was part of this scheme [of the Muslim leaders] - the [Muslim] Brotherhood continued on the path of Jihad against the British on the banks of the Suez canal in the early 1950's, and also continued their Jihad against the Jews in other Islamic regions outside of Egypt, as Da'wa (Islamic missionary activity) was made to disappear in the prisons during [President] Abdul Nasser's rule. Today we witness the [Muslim] Brotherhood joining their brothers, the Mujahideen (Jihad warriors) in Afghanistan, and fighting against the infidel and repressive regime in Syria.

Has the [Muslim] Brotherhood grown weary of the challenges, thrown down their guns and abandoned Jihad?!! No! ...

[D]espite this, the [Muslim] Brotherhood is not rushed by youth's enthusiasm into immature and unplanned action which will not alter the bad reality and may even harm the Islamic activity, and will benefit the people of falsehood...

The [Muslim] Brotherhood knows that hastiness without proper preparedness may be like an aborted [action]. Likewise, they know that the negligence and hesitation after the right time [for Jihad] has come... might be a spiritual death...

When the [Muslim] Brotherhood sends their youth to Jihad in the appropriate time they do not thrust them towards destruction, rather the abstention of Jihad in its appropriate time is destruction. As well, one should know that it is not necessary that the Muslims will repel every attack or damage caused by the enemies of Allah immediately, but [only] when ability and the circumstances are fit to it.

In the early days of Islamic Da'wa (Islamic missionary activity), when the Muslims were a persecuted minority, the Prophet Muhammad did not instruct the Muslims to retaliate but rather instructed them of 'Sabr', patience and steadfastness ... and when the conditions were right, permission to fight was given in the words of Allah: [Quran, sura 22, 39]:
"Permission [to fight] is given to those upon whom war is made because they are oppressed, and most surely Allah is well able to assist them."

Jihad is not only for Repelling an Assault but also for the Purpose of Establishing an Islamic State
It should be known that Jihad and preparation towards Jihad are not only for the purpose of fending-off assaults and attacks of Allah's enemies from Muslims, but are also for the purpose of realizing the great task of establishing an Islamic state and strengthening the religion and spreading it around the world...

As for the incorrect saying that the aim of Jihad in Islam is to coerce the people into the religion under threat of the sword, we do not need to work hard to disprove it. Many have already written on the subject, and it should suffice that it contradicts Allah's saying, Exalted is He: "There is no compulsion in religion; truly the right way has become clearly distinct from error." [Sura 2, 256] Reality and history negate this false claim.

Following this clarification and answer for the ponderings regarding Jihad in general, and the Muslim Brotherhood specifically, it is only left for us to address our Muslim youth with several basic terms which need to accompany Jihad and the preparation for Jihad so that they will be worthy of this immense honor.

To the Muslim youth in the way of Jihad
Previously we clarified the nature of our Muslim religion, the status of Jihad and its position in Islam... It may be useful, when we turn to the Muslim youth, that we first introduce a few quotes from the Imam and Shahid (Martyr), Hassan Al-Banna, in his treatise to the youth...

He says: "First, we call upon you to believe in yourselves, so you will know your status, and believe firmly that you are the masters of the world, even if your enemies desire your degradation ..."

After this preface, we turn to the Muslim youth around the world, with advice and focus on the path of Jihad. We say to the youth: Know that Jihad in the way of Allah will be -Allah knows - the most prominent characteristic of Islamic action, during the next phase of the Islamic Da'wa (Islamic missionary activity). ...

The Muslim youth on the path of Jihad should know that the sphere of their Jihad for Allah is not limited to the specific region of the Islamic countries, since the Muslim homeland is one and is not divided, and the banner of Jihad has already been raised in some of its parts, and it shall continue to be raised, with the help of Allah, until every inch of the land of Islam will be liberated, the State of Islam will be established, and Allah's Da'wa (Islamic missionary activity) will reach all mankind.

And the youth should know that the problems of the Islamic world, such as Palestine, Afghanistan, Syria, Eritrea, or the Philippines, are not issues of territories and nations, but of faith and religion. They are problems of Islam and the Muslims, and they can be resolved neither by negotiation nor by recognizing the enemy's right to the Islamic land he stole. Rather, the only option is Jihad for Allah, and this is why Jihad is the way...

Know that the sphere of Jihad is now far-reaching, and that the enemies of Allah are numerous, and that war has many faces [lit. colors]. Therefore the struggle between the truth and the falsehood requires effort and time. So prepare yourself for this, and be of those who are patient...
And fully trust your religion - It is the true religion accepted by Allah. Have trust in your way and in your Society (the Muslim Brotherhood), being on the path of truth. Trust yourself and your brothers, that you can - with Allah's help - confirm the truth and abolish the falsehood even if take time.

Oh the Muslim Youth,
Feel your responsibility for each Muslim on the face of Allah's earth... who is subject to oppression or control by Allah's enemies. Feel their pain, and may this pain motivate you to action and to Jihad in order to save all of them. Feel also your responsibility to guide Mankind and take it out of the darkness of heresy and error, into the light of Islam. Feel all of this tremendous responsibility, and gather with your brothers under the flag of the serious Islamic activity. And go in the true path of Jihad, in order to support Allah's religion and to strengthen the Islamic Ummah [nation], so that mankind will return to what is good for them.

My young Muslim Brother,
Hurry into the goodness and make the profitable bargain, so that you gain this commerce with Allah the great achievement, and the clear triumph, and gain the enduring blessing and [you] shall be saved from the grievous punishment, according to Allah's words:

"O ye who believe! Shall I lead you to a bargain that will save you from a grievous Penalty?- That ye believe in Allah and His Messenger, and that ye strive (your utmost) in the Cause of Allah, with your property and your persons that will be best for you, if ye but knew! He will forgive you your sins, and admit you to Gardens beneath which Rivers flow, and to beautiful mansions in Gardens of Eternity: that is indeed the Supreme Achievement." [Sura 61, 10-13]

[Translator's note: Quran verses about the reward for the Muslims in the Afterlife, in order to encourage them to sacrifice their souls for the sake of Allah.]

My young Muslim Brother,
Prepare yourself and your household members to obtain the honor of Jihad for Allah, and equip your soul with everything that shall help it in that path, in order to continue the process until victory or the Shahada (Martyrdom)...

My young Islamic Brother, on the path of the Jihad,
Prepare yourself and train in the art of warfare, and embrace the causes of power. You must learn the ways and manners and laws of war. You must learn them and embrace them and adhere to them, so that your Jihad will be the one accepted by Allah. ...

Oh Muslim Youth on the Path of Jihad,
The first, most important and most powerful weapon you must acquire for the Jihad against Allah's enemies, is the weapon of faith. It is the provision that renews itself... and pushes its owner to turn to death without fear... The young Jihad believer scares Allah's enemies more than a nuclear reactor, and in the balance of power is also heavier and stronger than a nuclear reactor. ...

[Translator's note: Quran verses promising the final triumph of the Muslims and threatening of whoever does not participate in Jihad that he will end in Hell.]

Know, my young Islamic Jihad [warrior] brother, Allah does not need us or our Jihad. It is we who need his reward and grace and to achieve this honor.

"And whoever strives hard, he strives only for his own soul; most surely Allah is Self-sufficient, above (needs of) the worlds." [Sura 29, 6]

My young brother in the path of Jihad,
Do not fear the strength of Allah's enemies, even if their numbers and equipment out-number yours. Since Allah is the patron of the believers, and strengthens and supports them with his forces:
"...for to Allah belong the forces of the heavens and the earth " [Sura 48, 4]

[Translators' note: Quran verses explaining that the triumph comes only from Allah.]

Put your hand in the hands of your brothers in the lines of the Jihad, and embrace them strongly in the tie of brotherhood for Allah, and you'll be like a solid cemented structure, as in the words of Allah: ...

[Translators' note: text continues with examples from the Quran and allegories of comradeship and brotherhood between Muslims and Jihad warriors].

[Translators' note: Quran verses describing the virtues of the good Muslim.]

My young Islamic Jihad brother,
Beware of the words and positions of the hypocrites in regard of the Jihad, and beware of the ones who refrain and procrastinate [from departing on the Jihad] ...

Oh the young Jihad warrior
... We do not attack and do not wish to encounter the enemy but we will repel the aggression, asking the help of Allah...

[Translator's note: The text continues with Quran verses exemplifying the above.]

Oh, the young Islamic Mujahidun [Jihad warriors], go forward in the lines of the fighters for Allah, filled with trust that you are about to meet one of the two great destinies: Victory or Shahada [Martyrdom]; Victory that believers around the world will rejoice in, or Shahada [Martyrdom] that will grant you the status of the Shuhada [Martyrs in Islam] and their rewards.

"...and whoever fights in the way of Allah, then be he slain or be he victorious, We shall grant him a mighty reward." [Sura 4, 74]

Keep aware of the grave consequences for the Muslim and the grave threat of Allah to whoever turns away from the [Muslim's] attack...
[Translator's note: Proof text from Quran]

Beware of weakness or acceptance that the believers will be defeated in battle. Know that the defeat is in the heart and not the battlefield. ...

Therefore we must continue the Jihad without weakness...
[Translator's note: More proof texts from Quran]

[Translator's note: More proof texts from Quran and repeated Jihad promotion and warning not to sin.]

Know, my young Islamic Jihad [warrior], that we are called to action, but we are not responsible for the results. Allah commanded us to fight Allah's enemies and repel their hostility, and did not require us to achieve victory, since victory is from Him. Therefore Allah will not prevent us from the award of the Mujahidun [Jihad warriors], even when the outcome is not in favor of the believers.
Know, my Islamic brother on the ranks of the Mujahidun [Jihad warriors], that you are an important target and valuable prey for Allah's enemies...

[Translator's note: Instructions to be disciplined and precise, study the Quran and the sections regarding Jihad and even learn them by heart.]

My Islamic sister,
And you, the Islamic sister on the path of the Jihad, you have an important role in Jihad, which starts at home educating the [young] generations, and preparing them for the Jihad. The woman is the producer of the men, and Muslim women used to teach their sons by heart the stories of the military expeditions, as they would teach them the Quran... In addition, the Islamic sister who lives by the spirit of the Jihad, is a help to her husband and encourages him in the path of the Jihad, and she doesn't turn him away or weaken him... Likewise, she properly manages his possessions and children, and takes care of them while he is away on the Jihad.

In the past the Muslim women had a role in battle: she would give water to the soldiers and bandage the wounded, and sometimes she would even participate with weapons, like Nasiba the daughter of Ka'ab, protecting Allah's Messenger [Muhammad] in the battle of Uhud.

The Istish'had (seeking or achieving Shahada (Martyrdom) in the way of the Da'wa (Islamic missionary activity)
"The Jihad is our way and death for Allah is our most exalted wish", this is the call which we have always called, and our people have called it by the way of the Da'wa (Islamic missionary activity), people of the Da'wa... Many of our beloved ones have already achieved this wish, and among them the founder of the Society [of Muslim Brotherhood], the Imam and Shahid (Martyr) Hassan Al-Banna. We ask Allah to accept all of them, and that He may widen His gardens [of Eden] for them, and may He join us with them, and that we won't change [our determination] and won't fall into trial, and may He provide us with the Shahada (Martyrdom) like them, Amen.

The procession of Shahids (Martyrs) in the way of Da'wa (Islamic missionary activity) has been continuing for a long time. Honorable brothers have achieved Shahada (Martyrdom) on the soil of beloved Palestine, during the years 47' and 48', [while] in their Jihad against the criminal, thieving, gangs of Zion. They [these Martyrs] the men of Da'wa gave outstanding examples of Jihad and Istish'had (Martyrdom-seeking) in the way of Allah. Still today memory of them horrifies the Jews and the name of the Muslim Brotherhood terrifies them...

Later was the plot which was planned by the enemies of Allah and carried out by their agents among the Arab leaders of that time, and in December 1948 the decision was announced in Egypt to dismantle the [Muslim] Brotherhood, and to arrest them [members], except the Imam [Hassan] Al-Banna, whose murder was planned... They sent Arab armies or their symbols into Palestine, in the name of saving it from the Jews, but actually [the goal was] to hand it over to the Jews...
The Imam and Shahid (Martyr) Hassan Al-Banna is considered as a Shahid (Martyr) of Palestine, even if he was not killed on its soil. ...

Later the enemies of Allah [among the Arabs] forced on us another front of Shahada (Martyrdom), the one of tyranny ... In the prisons of [Egyptian President] Abd al-Nasser and in the gallows. They [Muslim Brotherhood members] calmly accepted the Shahada, among them ... Khaled Islambouli [assassinated the Egyptian president, Anwar al-Sadat, in Oct. 6, 1981] and his brothers. Allah's mercy upon them all.
...Many of the Da'wa (Islamic missionary activity) men in occupied Palestine and in Lebanon also achieved Shahada, and they are facing it, in their Jihad against the Jews...

Some think that Shahada (Martyrdom) causes loss and damages the [Muslim Brotherhood] Society, since it has lost influential people in action and Jihad. This is wrong, since the fall of the Shahid (Martyr) for the sake of Da'wa (Islamic missionary activity) is [seen as] provisions and fuel for the [next] generations, and as a symbol of self sacrifice in the way of the Da'wa...
...until realization of the goals which the [Muslim Brotherhood] Society was established for, that is, establishing the State of Islam, headed by the Islamic Caliphate, in order to establish Allah religion on Allah's land...

Muslim youth should know that the battle between truth and falsehood is hard, long, and broad, and it reaches the entire Islamic Sphere. [They must] know that Jihad is the way, and sacrifice of lives and property is inevitable, the opportunity to achieve Jihad and Istish'had [achieved Martyrdom] - will grow during the coming decades...

Our youth should not give up hope of our [eventual] victory and establishing [Islam], due to the large number of enemies and the small number of believers. In the past, the believers with the Messenger of Allah were a minority... But Allah supported his Prophet and the believers, with His battalions...
[Translators' note: the book now quotes two Quranic verses concerning the "Battalions of Allah"]

Indeed, oh youth, death for Allah is our most exalted wish. And how not, here are the verses of the precious Quran, and the sayings of the honorable Messenger they make us love and encourage us towards Istish'had (seeking Martyrdom for Allah) the way of Allah, by what they mention regarding the status of the Martyrs, and the honor that Allah grants them.

The foremost among the status of the Shuhada' [Martyrs] is that they become alive with their Lord, they are provided sustenance from their Lord, and they rejoice the kindness which Allah gives them.

Allah says [In the Quran] ...
"Think not of those who are slain in Allah's way as dead. Nay, they live, finding their sustenance in the presence of their Lord." [Sura 3, 169]

[Translator's note: Additional Quran verses are quoted.]
[Translator's note: Hadiths (traditions) are quoted in regard to Jihad and Martyrdom]

We shall move to [discuss] some of the sayings of Allah's Prophet, may Allah's blessing be upon him, regarding Jihad and Istish'had [Seeking Martyrdom for Allah]:

[Translator's note: Some of the Prophet's sayings regarding the issue are quoted, for example:]

"Abu Hurayra said: ...the Messenger of Allah was asked: What is the value of Jihad for Allah? He said: You can not imagine it. He was asked again and again... then he said: the Jihad Fighter in the way of Allah is like one who's fasting and standing up to pray at night] ..."

[Also] It was told that the Prophet said: "Not one of those who enter paradise want to return to this world... but the Shahid (Martyr), who wishes to return to this world and be killed ten times, due to the honor which he sees"...

Oh my Brother to the path of Da'wa (Islamic missionary activity), oh you who chose the path of the honest believers who committed before Allah service and Jihad... and you called from the depths of your heart: [bold in original]: "The Jihad is our way and death for Allah is our most exalted wish". Oh Brother, this is indeed an exalted wish ...

There are matters which need to be taken into account, and to adhere to, among them:

First of all: That you make a profitable deal with Allah: "Surely Allah has bought of the believers their persons and their property for this, that they shall have the garden; they fight in Allah's way, so they slay and are slain; a promise which is binding on Him in the Torah [Bible] and the Injeel [Gospels] and the Quran; and who is more faithful to his covenant than Allah? Rejoice therefore in the pledge which you have made; and that is the mighty achievement." [Sura 9, 111] ...

Second: In order for the deal to be carried out and for the sale to be accepted, you must impose on yourself the attributes of the believers...

Third: ...Your intention in Jihad and in seeking Istish'had (seeking Martyrdom for Allah) Your intention shall be raising the word of Allah on Allah's land...

Fourth: You will ask Shahada (Martyrdom) from Allah truthfully, not only in talk but also in your heart, and with honest decisiveness, and by waiting for opportunities. This way you will reach the status of Shahids (Martyrs) and their reward, with Allah's will, even if you die in your bed, as said in the Hadith of the Prophet ..." He who sincerely asks for the Shahada (Martyrdom) from Allah, Allah brings him to the status of the Shahids (Martyrs), even if he died in his bed"...

At the same time, there is a warning to those who do not go on a raid or do not hope for it... The Messenger of Allah said: "He who died without leaving on a raid, and without making up his mind to leave on a raid, died as a hypocrite."

Sixth: You should be prepared to answer the call of Jihad whenever you are called, in any region of the Islamic world. Our Islam is universal not regional, and all Islamic countries are one homeland. You must overcome the earth's attractions ... which makes man vulnerable to the danger of Allah's punishment, as in the verse:

"O you who believe! What (excuse) have you that when it is said to you: Go forth in Allah's way, you should incline heavily to earth; are you contented with this world's life instead of the hereafter? But the provision of this world's life compared with the hereafter is but little. If you don't go [out to war], he will punish you ruthlessly, and will switch you with other people..." [Sura 9, 38]

...that is, go out to battle, oh believers, young and old, by foot or with animal, under all circumstances and conditions...

Seventh: As long as you are a soldier in the ranks [of the warriors], you must respect every request regarding the Jihad, and what was determined for you, both in time and place. Do not carry out personal actions... since there are negative consequences to personal disobedient actions. Many times, the enthusiasm pushes some of the young [soldiers] to personal hasty actions, which harm the overall [Jihad] process...

The reason for this narrow and limited perspective is that some of the young [fighters] think that this bitter struggle between truth and falsehood, can come to an end by killing a couple of people and blowing up bombs and actions of that sort, without grasping the [long term] results...
It was not hard for one of the Muslims, during the period of Mecca, to kill Abu Jahal or Abu Lahab [Muhammad's enemies], or to shatter the idols around the Ka'ba, when they were being worshiped instead of Allah, in order to remove the evil. None of Muslims actually did any of this, due to the great harm that would befall the Da'wa (Islamic missionary activity), and would expose it to the danger of destruction, while it was still like a young plant...

Eighth: My Brother, study Islam's laws of combat so that you will become bound by them, so that your Jihad will be sound, healthy, and flawless, because when the Muslims fight they do not attack, and do not blow up [anything], and do not mutilate [dead] bodies, and do not steal, and do not plunder property, and do not desecrate [sanctity], and do not come to harm, because in their war they are the best warriors, just as they in their peace are the best peace-lovers.
By Barida, may God be pleased with him: "Messenger of Allah, God bless him and grant him salvation, who used to say when he was commanding an army commander ... 'Raid but don't exaggerate and do not act with treacherousness, and do not molest (dead) bodies, and do not kill newborns.' reported Muslim [Hadith]...
Therefore, it is forbidden to kill women and elderly, finish off wounded, provoke monks and isolated people, and peaceful non-combatants... From the Jihad Treatise by the Imam al-Banna.

Ninth: [One must learn and perfect the skills of fighting...] However, achieving victory should not be attributed to preparation and skills but to the help of Allah and to the support he gives to his servants, the believers.

Tenth: My Brother, nurture your home and your family with an Islamic consciousness, and prepare them for the atmosphere of Jihad and Shahada (Martyrdom) - Seeking, then they will not weaken you, but will support and encourage [you] to Jihad, and they will receive the news that you have fallen as a Shahid (Martyr) - Allah willing - with joy...

Eleventh: The Imam the Shahid (Martyr), [Hassan al-Banna] ... said:
"Oh [Muslim] brothers, the nation that excels in the death industry, and knows how to die a noble [death], Allah grants it a precious life in this world and eternal bliss in the Afterlife. The only weakness that shall humiliate us is the love of this world and hating death. Therefore we have prepared your souls for great action, strive for death - and life will be given to you. Know that there is no escaping death, and it will happen only once, and if you carry it out (death) for the sake of Allah, there will be profit in this world and reward in the Afterlife, and nothing will harm you except what Allah has decreed [for] you... Work for an honorable death, you will be thus granted full happiness. May Allah provide us and you, the honor of achieving the Shahada (Martyrdom) for Him."

Indeed, Allah has already answered his [Hassan al-Banna's] prayer and provided him with the Shahada (Martyrdom). We ask Allah to also provide us with it, for He is near and answers [prayers].