Saturday, May 25, 2013

The New, Improved Axis of Jihad

Clare M. Lopez
Two years into the seismic shift that brought the forces of Islamic jihad and Sharia law to power in country after country in the Middle East and North Africa -- with the astonishing and extensive assistance from the U.S. -- Iran, Hizballah and al-Qa'eda apparently judge that the U.S. and its Western allies still need another nudge to ensure their complete retreat from "Muslim" lands. That nudge, according to independent, reliable and mutually-corroborating sources, has now been prepared by this Axis.
Indicators and warnings continue to grow concerning the resurgence of an "Axis of Jihad" comprised of Iran, Hizballah, and al-Qa'eda. This axis is not new: its three actors, both national and sub-national, have been working together in an operational terror alliance for over two decades. Still, so many seem unaware not just of this alliance, but of the ideological bonds that brought them together in Khartoum, Sudan, in the early 1990s and have kept them together to the current day. The bond is as old as Islam, and includes the commitment to jihad [war in the name of Islam] and Islamic Shariah law; the threat is to all free and democratic societies which stand in the way of global Islamic government and the forcible application of Islamic Shariah Law.

America's grand retreat

Last month, I highlighted a new Washington report headlined by 

This week, the Center for a New American Security, a think tank closely affiliated with the Obama administration, made it clear which way the Washington winds are blowing. Its new study, "The Challenges of Containing a Nuclear-Armed Iran," was primarily authored by former Obama administration Deputy Assistant Defense Secretary for the Middle East Professor Colin H. Kahl. He outlines "a comprehensive framework to manage and mitigate the consequences of a nuclear-armed Iran." In other words, stopping the Iranian nuclear effort is already a passé discussion.
Last month, an Atlantic Council task force (which Chuck Hagel co-chaired until he was appointed defense secretary), similarly released a report that called for Washington to "lessen the chances for war through reinvigorated diplomacy that offers Iran a realistic and face-saving way out of the nuclear standoff." That's diplomatic-speak for a containment strategy.

Friday, May 24, 2013

The two-state psychosis: The Oslo Syndrome revisited

People under siege end up blaming themselves for their enemies’ hatred toward them, delude themselves about the malicious intentions of their foes.

Alan Dershowitz speaks to the 'Post.'
Alan Dershowitz speaks to the 'Post.' Photo: Ariel Jerozolimski
There were many cogent critiques of the Oslo process. But none addressed why Israel’s leaders, supported by the nation’s academic and cultural elites and much of the broader population, were pursuing a course that was demonstrably placing the nation, including their own families, at dire risk... given the irrationality of Israel’s course, the explanation had to lie in the realm of psychopathology. Israel’s Oslo diplomacy reflected a self-destructiveness inexplicable except in psychiatric terms – Prof. Kenneth Levin of the department of psychiatry, Harvard Medical School.

Psychosis: Fundamental derangement of the mind characterized by defective or lost contact with reality especially as evidenced by delusions – Merriam-Webster Online dictionary.

April was a bad month for level-headedness, least as far as the debate on Israel was concerned, and particularly in reference to the Palestinian issue.

Common sense and rational thinking were abandoned in favor of feverish flights of far-fetched fancy, totally divorced from recalcitrant realities down here on Planet Earth.

The Legality of Israeli Settlements

Michael Curtis

As a result of criticism, the Church of Scotland has agreed to change its controversial report of its committee which called for political action, including boycotts and disinvestment in Israel, because of "illegal settlements in the occupied territories." Though the Church has made clear that it has never challenged the right of Israel to exist, it has raised once again two issues: the claim of Israel to possess particular territory by the establishment of settlements; and the concerns faced by Palestinians in the "occupied Palestinian territories."
The question of whether Israeli settlements are immoral or politically unwise or present an obstacle to any peace process is arguable. However, what has been most important for many in the international community is the illegality of the settlements according to international law. About this, two things can be said. One is that it should be recognized at the outset that the whole issue is not really one of legality but is a crucial part of political factors: the territorial dispute between Israel and the Palestinians and other Arabs over areas to which both parties make claims; the question of who has legitimate sovereignty over the territory; a Palestinian state; and the desire of Israel for security. The other is that there is no clear universally accepted international law on the question of the settlements.
Many resolutions by international bodies have considered the settlements to be illegal. The most recent critical report was presented in January 2013 by a panel set up by the United Nations Human Rights Council. The panel of three judges, headed by Christine Chanet of France determined that the settlements violated the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949. Moreover, Judge Chanet said that according to Article 8 of the statute of the International Criminal Court the actions of Israel constituted "war crimes."

Official PA TV rebroadcast video: "Let every person know that I do not compromise"

by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik

On May 10, 2013 Palestinian Authority TV rebroadcast a video containing the following political statements as printed text on the TV screen:

"Let all of humanity know that I'm not an immigrant"
"Let all religions know that I do not make truces"
"Let every person know that I do not compromise"
"Let all of humanity know that we are proud of [our] patriotism"
"Let all the nations know that we are proud of [our] aspirations"
"Let Palestine know that I am madly in love with it"
"Let Jaffa (Israeli city) know that I will return to it"
 [PA TV (Fatah), May 14, 2012, May 21, 2012 and May 10 2013]

Shurat HaDin Calls for Arrest of Reporters Behind the al-Dura Hoax

The release this week of the Israeli Ministry of International Affairs and Strategy's report which definitely found that the France 2 television infamous news broadcast of  the IDF shooting a Palestinian child in Gaza in September 2000 was a fake, is an important victory for all of the activists and organizations that engaged in the struggle for the truth.  Mohammed al-Dura, the Palestinian youth, allegedly seen being killed in the video footage, became the poster child in the Arab world for the murderous intifada violence that fueled hundreds of terrorist attacks against Israeli citizens and Jewish communities worldwide. Thousands of Jews and Arabs had been killed in the ensuing violence following the broadcast that lasted for years. 

"What Comes First?"

There are several items of news requiring attention that can, in one respect or another, knock you off balance.  
But let us start with this indisputable winner, because it will take the time required to read the rest of my post before you get your breath back. 
Most of you probably know that a UK soldier, not in uniform, was killed yesterday on the street in broad daylight by two Islamic terrorists -- both of whom are believed to be native British, and at least one reportedly a convert to Islam -- who then proceeded to behead him with a meat cleaver, while calling “Allahu akbar.”  Eye witnesses described the victim as having been hacked "like a piece of meat."  The terrorists were shot by police, taken to a hospital, and then arrested.
Many of the sites I pulled up when searching for data on this referred to a "likely terrorist event," or "what appears to be terrorism."  So tentative, so cautious.
A British security officer said it seemed to be "ideologically motivated." 
You think?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Skeptic’s Curse

On Oct. 6, 2000, Palestinian boys in the Gaza strip walked past graffiti representing Muhammad al-Dura as he was shown in a television report.Ahmed Jadallah/ReutersOn Oct. 6, 2000, Palestinian boys in the Gaza strip walked past graffiti representing Muhammad al-Dura as he was shown in a television report.
TEL AVIV — In late September 2000, at the beginning of the second Palestinian intifada, the French TV station France 2 aired some 60 seconds of footage allegedly showing the killing of a Palestinian boy in the Gaza Strip.

A Woman's Voice at the Mosque

Raheel Raza

Most of all, we have to use reason and logic and broaden the use of ijtihad – individual reasoning in religious affairs.
In the aftermath of the Boston bombings, Toronto and Montreal saw arrests of two Muslims charged with terror related activities. There's been some hand-wringing and questions about "what leads Muslim youth towards violence?"

Amid an array of reasoning, one constant factor that has emerged is the possible influence of Wahhabi mosques. This is not new. For years after 9/11, we were concerned about possible seditious messages coming from the pulpit, some of which I have heard.

While the sermon every Friday in the mosque may not ask Muslims outright to commit violent acts, I believe that what is not being said is the issue here.

Are you biased against Israel? A quiz for reporters and NGO workers.

Elder of Ziyon

Yesterday I discussed the "Vulture Club" expose where some major journalists and human rights activists actively insult Israel in a private Facebook group.

You can click the graphic at the right to see the entire anti-Israel thread there. The hate for Israel on the part of supposedly unbiased reporters and activists is palpable.

Also yesterday I went into detail on  The Economist strenuously denying any anti-Israel bias, even though the article I referenced didn't even bother to pretend to ask Israeli officials for their side of the story and the wording was deliberately slanted to go beyond the evidence mentioned.

 I thought I would put together a quiz geared towards journalists and NGO workers who specialize in the Middle East, to see if they are biased against Israel:

1. Do you consider Gaza to be a virtual concentration camp?
2. Do you think that Jewish settlers regularly storm the Al Aqsa Mosque?
3. According to the Geneva Conventions, is Israel illegally occupying the West Bank?
4. Is Gaza under Israeli occupation?
5. Was the second intifada a spontaneous uprising?
6. Do you think that, in general, Jews were treated fairly under Muslim rule throughout history?
7. Are most Jewish residents of the territories from the United States?
8. Does Haaretz represent mainstream Israeli political opinion?
9. Is Benjamin Netanyahu less credible than Mahmoud Abbas?
10. Is Israel's naval blockade of Gaza illegal?
11. Do a majority or significant percentage of settlers support Baruch Goldstein's murders of Arabs in Hebron in 1994?
12. Was the Green Line a national border between 1949 and 1967?
13. Does, or did, Israel have a policy to sterilize Ethiopian women?
14. Does the IDF Spokesperson routinely lie?
15. Is the PA government more desirous of peace than the current Israeli government?

If you are a Middle East journalist or NGO worker, and you answer "yes" to any of these questions, then you most probably have an anti-Israel bias. At the very least you are woefully uninformed about a topic you are pretending to be well-versed in.

Ordinary people could be forgiven for thinking that the answers to some of these questions are in the affirmative - because they only get their news from people who allow their biases to overcome their dedication to accuracy and truth. Middle East "experts" should know better.

Israel: Crises 360 degrees, Surrounded by crises in all its Arab neighbors, Israeli leaders are not about to facilitate the birth of a Palestinian state.


WASHINGTON, May 22 (UPI) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, on his fourth visit to the Middle East in two months, is chasing the brass ring of an Israeli-Palestinian agreement for the creation of an independent Palestinian state.

Kerry's single most important foreign policy goal is solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that dates to the 1967 Six Day War, when Israel conquered the West Bank from Jordan and Gaza from Egypt.

The issue, says Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren, is whether "we are going to be able to get the Palestinians back to the table."

All wish it were that simple.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Official PA daily acknowledges Israeli hospital's medical care for Palestinian children and training of doctors

by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
The official PA daily reported on a visit by the PA Minister of Health, Hani Abdeen, to Israel's Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. The daily noted that 30% of the child patients in Hadassah are Palestinians and that the Israeli hospital is training "60 Palestinian medical interns and specialist physicians who will be returning to the [Palestinian] Authority areas to carry out their work." The hospital has a special program to train Palestinian doctors to treat cancer among children, reported the PA daily.

Chabad center taking in Oklahomans displaced by deadly tornado
A Chabad center in Oklahoma City opened its building as a shelter for those displaced by a deadly tornado.
The Chabad Community Center of Southern Oklahoma also is collecting supplies for those left homeless by the tornado that tore through an Oklahoma City suburb on Monday afternoon, leaving at least 24 people dead, including several children, and injuring hundreds.

IDF Chief of Staff on tour at Syrian border: “If Assad will deteriorate the situation in the Golan Heights, he will have to bear the consequences”

IDF Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, toured the Israel-Syrian border this morning, along with the General Commander of the Northern Command, Maj. Gen. Yair Golan and  Commander of the 36th Armored Division of the Northern Command, Brig. Gen. Tamir Heyman.
During the tour of the Syrian border, the Chief of Staff closely examined the readiness of IDF troops and spoke with soldiers and commanders in the Nahal Brigade who are on operational duty along the border. Lt. Gen. Gantz stressed that "we must remain alert and vigilant during this challenging time.”

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Arabs declare Jesus their Forefather – but, Jesus had no kids. Never mind the “irrelevant” details.
By Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
Having no ancient Palestinian history, the Palestinian Authority has tried for many years to convince its people that they have a history going back many thousands of years, that there was an ancient Palestinian nation, and that one of the great figures of history, Jesus, was their “forefather” and they are “Jesus’ descendants.”
The fact that in Christian tradition Jesus is a Jew from the nation of Judea and that the historical record has no record of a Palestinian Arab people, is not taught by the PA. The PA also ignores the fact that Rome only changed the name of Judea to “Palestine” after the Judean Bar Kochba Rebellion in the year 136, long after the death of Jesus. Furthermore, according to Christian tradition, Jesus did not marry, had no children, and therefore Palestinians could not be “Jesus’ descendants.”

Palestinians at U.N. Warn of ‘Consequences’ for ‘Apartheid’ Israel

Saëb Erakat, Member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization and Chief Palestinian Negotiator, addressed the 352nd meeting of the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People at UN headquarters in New York on May 20th.  His message was wrapped in the standard Palestinian victimhood narrative. It contained superficially nice sounding words about the Palestinians’ interest in peace but only on their terms.
Erakat used his speech to attack Israel’s alleged “apartheid” policies in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and  to trumpet the Palestinians’ commitment to a peaceful resolution of the conflict with Israel based on “two states on the 1967 line.” At the same time, he praised Secretary of State John Kerry for trying to bring the parties together and move the peace negotiation process forward. “I know his heart is there,” Erakat said.

A belated victory for justice

Yaakov Ahimeir

The publication of the government inquiry report into the Mohammed al-Dura incident, which shows that the Palestinian boy was not shot dead at Netzarim junction 13 years ago, absolves the Israel Defense Forces. The report, however, needs to spark deep introspection: Why has it taken 13 years to compile? Why has so much time passed since that image was broadcast across the globe until the inquiry commission's conclusions were finally released?
Thirteen years have come and gone since the Arab world (and other people too) "celebrated" the Israeli army's alleged cruelty as it unfolded on tens of millions of television screens: shooting at a little boy and his father.

Syria's madness and ours

David P. Goldman
Asia Times

"Syria's Descent into Madness" is the cover story of the May 27 Time magazine, recounting the act of ritual cannibalism by a Syrian rebel commander that transfixed the West last week. The sort of atrocities viewable on YouTube - the slaughter by government troops of entire families including infants in Tartus province this month, mass rape of women in rebel-held zones, or the rebel leader Abu Sakkar eating a piece of the lung of a dead government soldier - are becoming Syria's new normal.
Westerners cannot deal with this kind of warfare. The United States does not have and cannot train soldiers capable of intervening in the Syrian civil war. Short of raising a foreign legion on the French colonial model, America should keep its military personnel at a distance from a war fought with the instruments of horror.

Obama's Emptiest Benghazi Talking Point

Michelle Malkin
 | On Sept. 12, 2012, President Barack Obama vowed to "bring to justice" the perpetrators of the deadly attack in Benghazi, Libya. On Oct. 26, 2012, Obama said his "biggest priority" was bringing the "folks" in Libya responsible for murdering four Americans to "justice." Tick, tock, tick, tock.
While White House press secretary Jay Carney sneers at the GOP's "obsession" with what went wrong at the besieged Libyan consulate, Obama continues to ply his emptiest talking point. On May 13, 2013, more than eight months after the bloody disaster, Obama snippily reminded reporters that he had told us all back in September that "we would find out what happened, we would make sure that it did not happen again, and we would make sure that we held accountable those who had perpetrated this terrible crime."
Woulda, coulda, shoulda. Justice delayed is justice denied.

Please 'read my lips' as I responded to the following article‏


WH Advisor: It's an 'Irrelevant Fact' Where Obama Was on Night of Benghazi Attack

As a caring U.S. citizen who follows the news of a beloved country in which I grew up, I am compelled to respond to what is happening.  I read at least 6 publications daily- even those whose policies are opposed to mine.  Living outside of the States gives me the advantage of knowing how the country is perceived internationally.  I am appalled at what is being revealed about the present American government - ashamed- and very worried.  My concern has to do with the internal turmoil just at a critical moment on the world stage.  I wrote the following after reading the article the title of which and link are above.  I am heartsick and hope you are feeling a bit of this, too.  Know that I call the White House and members of Congress and you can, too. Follow the news and act!
My response to article re Obama whereabouts on Benghazi night –May 20, 13

The arrogance that is emanating from the WH is not to be believed! Is anyone aware of the fact that a President bears responsibility to the citizens of the country and is answerable to them?

What has happened to the checks and balances that are part of the very fabric of the U.S. government?! What has happened to the dignity of the Office of the President? Where is the 'bringing people together' that was promised?! Where is the follow through on promises made?! Where is the 'transparency' that was promised and the words that resulted in a Nobel Peace Prize?!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Official PA daily: Israel's building in its Negev region is also a "settlement"

by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
The Palestinian Authority daily recently published a report attacking Israel's program to resolve questions of land ownership in Israel's southern desert region, called the Negev. The PA daily refers to Israeli building in the Negev as additional "settlement":

"The Netanyahu government has not decided to freeze settlement, but rather has transferred it to the Negev."
This PA daily report shows the PA's rejection of Israelis living and developing land anywhere in Israel. For years, Palestinian Media Watch has documented that the PA as policy often defines all of Israel as "Palestine" or "occupied Palestine." 

More Violence in Benghazi Shows After-Effects of Scandal

Barry Rubin

As I've noted, Libya is starting to fall apart and the Benghazi scandal cover-up prevented the Obama Administration from taking serious action in regard to that country, including retaliation against the terrorist group that the United States knows was responsible.

In the last week, there was a car bomb and four attacks on Libyan military posts in Benghazi. The al-Qaida affiliate that murdered four Americans controls parts of the city and is unchallenged by the central government, which has been too weak to confront those who reject its authority.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Opinion: Saving Syria’s Revolution
- -

Posted By Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed

All eyes are on the Syrian people who are set to choose a leader for the Syrian National Coalition next week. The process began approximately two months ago when members of the opposition disagreed over Ghassan Hitto’s appointment. A prospective choice who was not popular among Syrians, Hitto failed to establish a satisfactory government during the period following his “election”.

The most likely new candidate for this post is Ahmad Tohme. Contrary to Hitto, Tohme is a well-known face among the Syrians, an Islamist, and is based in Syria. Hitto is well known among the opposition since he participated in the “Damascus Declaration,” a statement of unity issued in October 2005, alongside key opposition figures such as Fayez Sara.

For the last eight years, the opposition has been calling for gradual change in Syria. Unlike Hitto—who previously resided in the United States and for this reason, is rejected by some—Tohme was born in Deir ez-Zor, in eastern Syria.
In his own words: “I’ve lived in Syria for most of my life except for the give years I spent in the Bisha province of Saudi Arabia where my father worked as a teacher between 1974 and 1979.”

Similar to the previous coalition president, Moaz Al-Khatib, Ahmad Tohme worked as a preacher in a mosque and specialized in Islamic studies. He calls for change and believes in “reconsidering our Muslim intellectual heritage and correcting a number of misunderstanding that resulted from the backwardness of our civilization.” Tohme is also a pacifist who believes in fighting peacefully for rights.
Those who know Tohme say he is a moderate person and represents the essential element for a post-Assad Syria, which requires someone who advocates co-existence between religions, sects and ideologies.

The chosen head of the new government will have to fulfill several idealistic requirements. He will initially have to save the revolution and its leaders who remain tormented by internal chaos.

If Tohme succeeds, he will also have to visits the world’s major cities to convince the international community of the integrity and unity of the opposition, as well as the fact that it represents all the Syrian people. Despite their integral influence, lack of arms and regional interventions in favor of Assad’s regime are not the main issues of concern here.

The real danger facing the success of the Syrian revolution is on behalf of the revolutionaries themselves, their leaders, and their internal division. It is the absence of a unified leadership to convince the Syrian peoples, first and foremost, and then the rest of the world, that an alternative option to the Syrian regime exists, and that it is active, responsible, and popular.
The question is whether Tohme will be able to handle the situation at a time when internal and external forces are conspiring against the Syrian people and their revolution? It has been suggested that he should not accept the position if he cannot handle it; this national duty is dangerous, difficult, and historical.
Meanwhile, the peace conference is a Russian-Iranian initiative that aims to convince the world to accept Bashar Al-Assad as president until next year, and then for life. Those who support the “Geneva 2” conference claim that the opposition has no leaders, the revolutionaries do not have a united body, and that the revolution is no better than the regime it aims to overthrow.
This image is being propagated by the Assad regime through individual manipulations and forged videos. An example of this would be the video allegedly showing revolutionaries eating the heart of a soldier after killing him. The Bolivian ambassador stated that this video prompted him to oppose a U.N. General Assembly resolution against the Assad regime a few days ago.
It is crucial that the opposition forms a government, chooses a leader, and maintains the openness of a coalition that rises above differences and unreasonable allegiances; these duties are as important as the use of weapons and self-sacrifice.
Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed

Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed [1]

Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed is the general manager of Al-Arabiya television. He is also the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al- Awsat, and the leading Arabic weekly magazine Al-Majalla. He is also a senior columnist in the daily newspapers Al-Madina and Al-Bilad. He has a US post-graduate degree in mass communications, and has been a guest on many TV current affairs programs. He is currently based in Dubai.

Article printed from ASHARQ AL-AWSAT:
URL to article:
URLs in this post:
[1] Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed:

DHS guidelines advise deference to pro-shariah Muslim supremacists

Just like the IRS.

via The Daily Caller, Homeland Security: Respect pro-Shariah Muslim supremacists. (as if there were anti-sharia Muslim supremacists)

The Department of Homeland Security, which under Secretary Janet Napolitano has shown a keen interest in monitoring and warning about outspoken conservatives, takes a very different approach in monitoring political Islamists, according to a 2011 memo on protecting the free speech rights of pro-Shariah Muslim supremacists.
Political Islamists? Are there non-political Islamists? More redundancy and linguistic gymnastics to describe followers of Islam.