The Nazis relationship with the Muslim world at:
Iran and the Nuclear Bomb at:
Israel is a small country, only 424 km long and from 114 to 15 km wide, and is surrounded by many enemies. What does this mean in concrete terms? Who are the people and organizations threatening the sovereignty of Israel and from where do they act? These threats are real, and the IDF is forced to act on all fronts, more often than you might think.
November 22, 2014
Qatar and Terror
Although outwardly more liberal than the Saudis, the Qataris have surpassed them as financiers of extremism and terrorism.
U.S. officials reckon that Qatar has now replaced Saudi Arabia as the source of the largest private donations to the Islamic State and other al-Qaeda affiliates.
Qatar, the world’s wealthiest country per capita, also has the unsavory reputation for the mistreatment and effective slavery of much of its workforce.
Leaders of Western states threatened by jihadi advances are happy to sit down with the largest financiers of terrorism in the world, offer them help, take as much money as they can, and smile for the cameras.
There is a central weakness in the coalition against the Islamic State [IS] in Syria, as pointed out by Bryan Bender in the Boston Globe. There are 62 members of the coalition, some of which are Arab states: Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Bahrain, Iraq, and Qatar. The U.S., however, carries the greatest weight in the air campaign against the self-proclaimed Caliphate. America had carried out 3,589 sorties by August 8, its partners 8; between September 23 (when most partners joined in attacks) and November 3, U.S. sorties numbered a further 3,320, with 1,090 by other coalition members.
The U.S., therefore, flies over 75% of missions — an indication of American intent? It’s not quite that simple.
One of those partners, Qatar, seems to be committed to the mission in other ways. It hosts the largest U.S. military base in the Middle East, the regional headquarters of U.S. Central Command, and stations American and British aircraft and personnel at al-Udeid Air Base.
The U.S. Congress has authorized and appropriated many millions of dollars over the years in return for use and maintenance of this important base.
Qatar is now prepared to pay in full for the U.S. military presence during the campaign in return for American protection.
Except, as a recent headline in the New Republic put it: “Qatar Is a U.S. Ally. They Also Knowingly Abet Terrorism. What’s Going On?” Other views are harsher: “Qatar’s overall cooperation, however, is the worst in the region.”
Qatar is one of the world’s smallest states with a miniscule population. A Saudi prince once said that it is made up of “300 people and a TV Channel” (referring to Al Jazeera, based in the capital, Doha). Qatar has only 278,000 citizens and 1.5 million expatriates who make up 94% of the workforce. Qatar, the world’s wealthiest country per capita, also has an unsavory reputation for the mistreatment and effective slavery of much of its workforce.
Qatar is also imprisoning Matthew and Grace Huang, an American couple sentenced to three years in prison on charges of child endangerment, for allegedly murdering their adopted daughter, Gloria, 8, even though she apparently had health issues prior to the adoption. The Huangs continue to protest their innocence, and claim that the Qataris do not understand how an Asian couple could adopt three children, who happen to be black, from Africa.
Given Qatar’s economic and political clout, created by its sovereign wealth fund, its oil, and its ownership of the world’s third largest natural gas reserves, Qatar plays a role on the world stage and does much to enhance its public image. In a bid for international kudos, the emirate acted to ensure the award of the soccer World Cup for 2022, only to find itself mired in controversy.
In other spheres, Qatar is the single largest donor to the Brookings Institution, a major U.S. think tank. Payments included $14.8 million after the former U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Martin Indyk, blamed Israel for the failure of the latest round of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks; and it has given money to many universities in the U.S. and Europe. Qatar also hosts eight international university campuses near Doha (Virginia Commonwealth, Weill Cornell, Texas A&M, Carnegie Mellon, Georgetown, Northwestern, HEC Paris, University College London, Calgary), and finances the RAND Policy Trust. It owns expensive properties in London, the Barcelona Football Club, and dabbles in other areas worldwide.
While all this increases Qatar’s influence, most of it seems to be for show, to present an amiable face to the world. Qatar is not all gleaming towers, bars for non-Muslims, and a modern approach to sexual relations. It remains the only other Wahhabi country in the world next to Saudi Arabia. The problem here is the Qatar paradox. Although outwardly more liberal than the Saudis, the Qataris have surpassed them as financiers of extremism and terrorism. As with its neighbor, it is traditional, devoted to a highly conservative form of Islam, and an underlying commitment to Islamic values.
Although praised for its liberalism in many areas, Freedom House reported in 2013 that “civil liberties and political rights are severely restricted for residents and citizens alike, foreign workers face especially repressive conditions.” Aside from a short period between 1976 and 1988, Qatar has remained categorized as “Not Free” since 1972, and has a particularly bad reputation for its brutal treatment of poor foreign workers.
Although non-Muslims are free to worship there, Qatari law bans any form of proselytization or outward show of faith (such as crosses on churches). There are severe laws against homosexuality, adultery (technically a capital crime, with provisions for flogging and stoning), and public criticism of the regime. As of 2011, the Democracy Index describes Qatar as an “authoritarian regime” with a score of 3.18 out of ten, and it ranks 138th out of the 167 countries covered.
Nowhere is this tendency clearer than in Qatar’s support for international networks of terrorist organizations. While U.S. planes bomb outposts of ISIS from their Qatar airbase, Qatar is reputed to be sending money to ISIS, Hamas, Libyan jihadists, and others. Of course, the Qataris deny this. Standing beside German Chancellor Angela Merkel on September 27, Qatar’s Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani declared that, “What is happening in Iraq and Syria is extremism and such organizations are partly financed from abroad, but Qatar has never supported and will never support terrorist organizations”.
Clearly, al-Thani either knows little about the country he rules or is trying to put one over on the world. One is reminded of how, after Black September’s 1973 murders of three diplomats (two American and one Belgian) in Khartoum, the PLO “privately… threatened reprisal if the Sudanese continued to hold them [the killers] or put them on trial,” while publicly disavowing the killings.
Qatar finances terrorists with one hand, while the other joins hands with the West. Above: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani in New York City on September 25, 2014. (Image source: U.S. State Department)
The fundamentalist anti-Semitic Islamic preacher, Shaykh Yusuf ‘Abd Allah al-Qaradawi, regarded by many as the leading scholar of the Muslim Brotherhood, has been living in Qatar on and off since the 1960s, while preaching a fundamentalist and often pro-terrorist message there through his website, Islam Online, and his Shari’a and Life television show on Al Jazeera. The Qatari government has never sought to rein him in.
Qatar’s major international charity, the Qatar Charitable Society (now simply Qatar Charity) has acted as a financier and agency for terrorist outfits in several countries. It has funded al-Qaeda in Chechnya, Mali and elsewhere, was a key player in the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and funded Syria’s Ahfad al-Rasul Brigade. Qatar has also financed terrorists in northern Mali operations, including Ansar Dine, alleged to be linked to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb [North Africa]; and it retains contacts with (and no doubt still funds) al-Qaeda.
According to David Blair and Richard Spencer, writing for London’s Daily Telegraph, four branches of the Qatari government handle relations with armed groups in Syria and Libya. These are the Foreign and Defense Ministries, the Intelligence Agency, and the personal office [al-Diwan al-Amiri], of the Emir, who, as we have seen, flatly denies financing terrorism. The Amiri Diwan, as in Kuwait, appears in the lists of government ministries and offices. Of course, Qatar does nothing directly. It prefers to use middlemen and to permit private individuals to do the work for it. Large sums are passed to middlemen in Turkey (itself no stranger to support for terrorism), and this money is used for the purchase of weapons from other countries (notably Croatia). The weapons are then transferred to rebel groups in Syria. It has also been claimed that money owed to British companies operating in Qatar has been siphoned off to Islamic State. This may require some ingenious application of the dark arts of bookkeeping, but it does provide another means of evading condemnation of the state.
One of the most obvious examples of government support for jihadi groups is that the international base of the Gazan terrorist group Hamas has been located in Doha since 2012. Khaled Mashaal, Chairman of Hamas’s Political Bureau, is reportedly living an opulent lifestyle in a five-star hotel in Doha. Qatar has given generously to Hamas. In October, Ma’mun Abu Shahla, the Palestinian Authority’s Minister of Labor, stated that the government of Qatar had given $30 million to provide staff with their first salary payments in several months, a distribution of largesse that will give half of the former Hamas government employees in Gaza their unpaid wages. This payment was arranged with Qatar by Robert Serry, the UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, despite fears of a backlash from international donor countries, including the U.S., which considers Hamas a terrorist organization.
Apart from cash advances to terrorist entities, the Qatari government seems to be directly involved in other activities, notably the shipping of planeloads of arms to Libyan jihadists. These shipments include a C-17 cargo plane carrying weaponry to a militia loyal to a warlord who had fought alongside Osama bin Laden; arms supplies to the jihadist coalition that now controls Tripoli after the launch of Operation Libya Dawn, and some $3 billion and 70 planeloads of arms to rebel forces in Syria.
Private fundraisers who coordinate donations from individual or corporate donors in Qatar are never detained or subjected to restrictions in Qatar, a privilege that means the transfer of considerable sums to al-Qaeda, Islamic State, Hamas, Jabhat al-Nusra and other Syrian Islamist groups.
The U.S. Treasury has given details of terrorist financiers operating in Qatar. The best known is ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Nu’aymi, an academic and businessman who is a key link between Qatari donors and al-Qaeda in Iraq, the predecessor of today’s Islamic State. At one time, Nu’aymi transferred $2 million per month to the organization. He has also sent around $576,000 to Abu Khalid al-Suri, al-Qaeda’s Syrian representative, and $250,000 to the Somali jihadist group, al-Shabaab.
The U.S. Treasury Department has sanctioned Nu’aymi and other Qatari financiers in recent years. U.S. officials reckon that Qatar has now replaced Saudi Arabia as the source of the largest private donations to Islamic State and other al-Qaeda affiliates. The Qatari government has taken no steps to detain or punish al-Nu’aymi or anyone else, even though Islamist politics are, in theory, illegal in Qatar.
British Prime Minister David Cameron was warned by many people, before his meeting with the Emir of Qatar, that he had to tackle the issue of Qatar’s funding of terrorism. The two men met on October 29. Here is part of the official government news briefing on the meeting:
On international affairs, they discussed the role both countries are playing in the coalition to tackle ISIL, and the importance of all countries working to tackle extremism and support to terrorist organisations. The Prime Minister welcomed the recent legislation passed in Qatar to prevent terrorist funding and looked forward to the swift implementation of these new measures. They also agreed that both countries should do more to share information on groups of concern.
Need one add that among the matters discussed by these world leaders was Qatar’s recent £20 billion investment in the U.K., and Cameron’s offer of British expertise in construction to assist the Emirate in building the 2022 World Cup events? Money talks, and in supine Western countries just coming out of a major recession, it talks very loudly. Al-Thani walked away from his meeting with Cameron covered in glory for his country’s supposed work to defeat Islamist terrorism worldwide.
Leaders of Western states threatened by jihadist advances are happy to sit down with the largest financiers of terrorism in the world, offer them help, take as much money as they can, and smile for the cameras. They then sell their publics for crumbs from oil-rich monarchs who watch, wreathed in smiles, as the West abases itself out of greed and a total lack of concern for the human rights issues that dog these sheikhdoms in almost everything they do. The Qataris have money, they have power and influence, and they have an abiding love for fundamentalist Islam. They know what they are doing and they wait for their day to come.
Denis MacEoin is a former lecturer in Arabic and Islamic Studies and a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute.
 Here is a short list of these payments: From FY2003 to FY2007, Congress authorized and appropriated $126 million for U.S. military construction activities in Qatar. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 (P.L. 110-181) authorized $81.7 million in FY2008 spending to build new Air Force and Special Operations facilities in Qatar. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009 (P.L. 110-417) authorizes $69.6 million in FY2009 spending to build new Air Force and Special Operations facilities. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 (P.L. 111-84) authorizes $117 million in FY2010 spending to build new Air Force recreational, dormitory, and other facilities at Al Udeid. The Administration’s FY2011 military construction request for Qatar was $64.3 million, for Air Force facilities and a National Security Agency warehouse. The FY2012 request includes $37 million to continue the dormitory and recreation facility project. See “Congress Appropriations and Authorizations”, in “Al-Udeid Air Base,” Wikipedia.
 “Qatar says ready to pay ‘in full’ for US military presence: Amr Moussa,” Press TV, 1 December 2012 (accompanied by many condemnation of Qatar for doing so).
 For some details about its donations to the UK, see Robin Simcox, “A Degree of Influence”, London, The Centre for Social Cohesion, 2009.
 Joshua Muravchik, Making David into Goliath, New York, 2014, p. 49, citing David Korn.
 See also State of Qatar Ministry of Interior, “Ministries”.
September 14, 2014
Islamic State Sleeper Cells Along Israeli Border?
IDF concerned of possible Hezbollah invasion of northern Israel
Northern Command says Shiite terror group threatening to send forces across the border in first few days of a third Lebanon war.
Hezbollah may implement its plan to invade northern Israel if a third Lebanon war breaks out, according to an estimate by the IDF Northern Command. Sources in Israel have identified a change in the Shiite terror group’s policies, which Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has defined as “breaking the silence.”
There was no concrete warning of an immediate threat by Hezbollah to launch a war against Israel or a surprise ground invasion, but the concern that a single event – with casualties – may flare up and lead, in quick succession, to the outbreak of war on the northern front.
Hezbolla members patrolling border with Israel (Photo: IDF Spokesperson’s Unit)
The IDF believes that Nasrallah’s declarations regarding an attempt to conquer the Galilee are far from credible; there is a growing concern that in the first few days of a war on the north, Hezbollah will deploy several companies to quickly raid Israeli communities located mere meters from the border – with each company staffed by 100 to 200 fighters from the group’s special forces.
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah (Photo: AFP)
According to the IDF estimates, Hezbollah has gathered the confidence necessary to attempt an invasion operation – as it managed with force on the border towns between Syrian and Lebanon, in al-Qusayr, Arsal, and the Qalamoun Mountains.
As opposed to its previous modus operandi, in which pointed attacks were carried out by small cells numbering less than a dozen people, the new estimates fear that operations would be wide-ranging and include a blitz by at least 100 fighters in order to hold an Israeli position for three to four hours.
The possibilities include the seizure of part of a town, a mountain ridge, or an IDF outpost – all in order to achieve an unprecedented symbolic victory for Hezbollah.
IDF soldiers near Metula (Photo: Avihu Shapira)
Such an attack, according to Hezbollah publications in recent months, could occur simultaneously in four positions along the border with Israel. The western-most incursion would invade through the sea with a special naval commando force. The possible attack would include anti-tank fire on IDF forces in the area and suppressive fire from machine guns – to be preempted by a heavy barrage of large short-range rockets held by Hezbollah.
These rockets, which are not of the standard variety, carry warheads with 100 to 500 kilograms of explosives. The Syrian military has used these rockets during its ongoing civil war to demolish neighborhoods. The major benefits of their rockets are their massive destructive power and the difficulty for Israel in intercepting them.
The “breaking the silence” policy which Hezbollah has adopted in the past year, after seven years of relative calm on the border, mostly addressed Hezbollah’s operational response to Israeli Air Force strikes.
These retaliatory operations included – in the past year – five attacks; in one incident two explosive devices, weighing 20 kilograms each, were activated against IDF forces.
August 30, 2014
Islamic State said to seek biological weapons
Seized laptop belonging to jihadist reveals chilling instructions on using and safely testing weapons
Times of Israel Staff
An image grab taken from a video uploaded on social networks on August 28, 2014, shows young men in underwear being marched barefoot along a desert road before being allegedly executed on August 27, 2014 by Islamic State (IS) militants at an undisclosed location in Syria’s Raqa Province. Islamic State fighters have executed more than 160 Syrian soldiers it captured during its storming of the key northern Tabqa air base this week. AFP was unable to verify the location and the date of the video. (Photo credit:AFP / HO / YOUTUBE)
Plans to develop biological weapons and instructions on how to weaponize the bubonic plague from infected animals were found on a laptop belonging to a Tunisian Islamic State jihadist, by a Syrian rebel commander from a moderate group in northern Syria.
The laptop was seized during an attack on an IS hideout in Idlib province, near the Turkish border, in January, according to the Syrian commander, dubbed Abu Ali, Foreign Policy Magazine reported.
He said IS men fled the building before it was attacked by his men.
Among the over 30,000 files found on the machine — including a trove of documents containing jihadist propaganda, instructions on bomb-making, training for deadly campaigns and lessons on how to use disguises to evade capture — Foreign Policy said it found evidence that the laptop user was teaching himself about biological weapons, “in preparation for a potential attack that would have shocked the world.”
Information gleaned from the laptop revealed that it belonged to a Muhammad S, a Tunisian national with a background in physics and chemistry. Details indicated he joined the Islamic State after having left Tunisia sometime in 2011.
A 19-page document in Arabic on the laptop detailed the “advantages” of the deadly weapons and included instructions of how to test them safely, before use in an attack.
“The advantage of biological weapons is that they do not cost a lot of money, while the human casualties can be huge,” the document stated, according to the magazine. “When the microbe is injected in small mice, the symptoms of the disease should start to appear within 24 hours,” the document went on.
Among the files was also a 26-page fatwa by Saudi jihadi cleric Nasir al-Fahd justifying the use of such weapons. He is currently imprisones in Saudi Arabia.
“If Muslims cannot defeat the kafir [unbelievers] in a different way, it is permissible to use weapons of mass destruction,” stated the fatwa.
“Even if it kills all of them and wipes them and their descendants off the face of the Earth,” it went on.
According to Tunisian state security, some 3,000 nationals were fighting in Syria, the majority under the banner of the Islamic State.
July 12, 2014
How Diplomats, Reporters and Human Rights Activists Saved Hamas
As Israeli airstrikes hit Hamas targets and Hamas rockets fall on Israeli towns, some wonder how did Gaza come to run by Hamas terrorists. The answer is that the world forced Israel to let them in.
In the early 90s, Nissim Toledano, a border police sergeant, was kidnapped by terrorists on the way to work. After an extended search, he was found dead in a roadside ditch.
In response to that attack and numerous other atrocities committed by Hamas, including a planned massive car bombing, Israel made the decision to deport 400 Hamas terrorists. Among them were the past and present day leaders of Hamas.
You might assume that the story ends there. And you would be wrong.
The United Nations issued a unanimous resolution condemning Israel’s deportation of “civilians” and demanding that Israel immediately bring them back, or face sanctions. The United States voted for that resolution, along with three others condemning Israel. Thomas R. Pickering, the American delegate warned that the deportations of Hamas terrorists “do not contribute to current efforts for peace.”
Lebanon refused to officially accept the terrorists. The Red Cross brought them tents and blankets and the media swarmed to take photos of them “shivering from the cold” while drinking coffee outside their tents. Newsweek accused Israel of “Deporting the Hope for Peace”. The LA Times ran a tearful interview with the wife of Mohammed Taamari, a future member of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, who was terribly lonely without her husband. Much as after the flotilla raid, the Israeli media condemned the clumsy mishandling of the deportations.
Finally after enough browbeating by James Baker and Warren Christopher, Rabin agreed to take the Hamas terrorists back. In a bizarre charade that would serve as a tragic foretelling of events to come, Rabin agreed to return 100 terrorists immediately, and to take the remainder back in a year.. Now the Hamas terrorists that Rabin took back control all of Gaza, and have been responsible for an untold number of murders.
The terrorists that Israel was forced to accept included current Hamas leader Ismael Haniyeh and Hamas’ religious figurehead, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin.
They included Mahmoud al-Zahar, a co-founder of Hamas, who last year proclaimed; “They have legitimised the killing of their people all over the world by killing our people”. They included Mohammed Taha, another co-founder of Hamas. They also included Abdel-Aziz Rantisi, another Hamas co-founder, who was responsible for numerous murders of Israelis, who would proclaim, “By Allah, we will not leave one Jew in Palestine”.
They included his son Ayman Taha, who commanded the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, which carried out numerous attacks on Israel, including the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit.
And that is how a failure to drive out those responsible for the kidnapping and murder of one Israeli sergeant led to the capture of an Israeli corporal in 2006. It is also the story of why Gaza was turned over to Hamas in the name of “peace.” It is the story of how the United Nations, the UK and two US administrations pressured Israel into accepting the leaders of Hamas in the name of peace.
It is also the story of how the media conducted a propaganda war on behalf of an Islamist terrorist organization, not just today when it publishes false stories about starvation in Gaza, but when the only people supposedly starving were adult male Hamas terrorists.
The world insisted that Israel take back the Hamas leadership, and Israel did. The world insisted that Israel had no business being in Gaza, and Israel withdrew from there, which allowed the very same Hamas terrorists that the world insisted Israel take back, take over. Now the world is insisting that Israel has no right to blockade those same Hamas terrorists in Gaza. People who are shocked by this development shouldn’t be since Israel wasn’t even allowed to throw the same terrorists out of the country.
One of the more cynical left wing talking points is that Israel was responsible for Hamas. Looking back to when the current Hamas leadership were sitting outside their Red Cross tents in Lebanon and the left was pounding on Israel’s door, demanding that they be let back in– it is all too clear who was and is responsible for Hamas.
The people who saved Hamas then are responsible for it today. The media and the diplomats who were claiming that deporting Hamas would somehow “radicalize” the Palestinian Arabs ensured that the Hamas leaders would return to radicalize all of Gaza and the West Bank.
After the deportation of the Hamas terrorists, Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin delivered a speech in the Knesset in which he said;
“I have no pity in my heart, nor do I shed tears (for the Hamas terrorists). I see the media whining their hypocritical speeches – and I think instead of Nissim Toledano’s orphaned children, the widow of Shmuel Biran, and the bereaved parents of Shmuel Geresh.”
Rabbi Shmuel Biran was a schoolteacher in Kfar Darom, an Israeli village in Gaza. He was murdered by Hamas terrorists while crossing a two lane highway. The UN did not condemn the murder of Rabbi Biran. Newsweek did not write any piteous pieces about how much his widow missed him. Instead they called Kfar Darom a settlement, even though it was part of a history going back over 2000 years, and the land it was on had been bought and paid for, fair and square.
The same diplomats and reporters who wailed for the lonely Hamas terrorists in Lebanon, did not pity the family of Rabbi Biran. Instead they demanded his family and all the Jews of Kfar Darom be expelled from their homes.
Eventually they got their wish. The families of Kfar Darom were dragged out of their homes. Today Kfar Darom is used by Hamas terrorists to launch rockets deeper into Israel, at other towns and villages. The murderers have inherited the land of their victims. And yet there is no peace. Never any peace.
Now the vultures keep on circling. Once they said there would be peace if only Israel let the Hamas terrorists back in. Then they said, there would be peace if only Israel ethnically cleansed Jewish communities in land claimed by the terrorists. Now if only Israel will lift the blockade and give Hamas access to unlimited weapons– perhaps then there will be peace.
After his death, it has become fashionable to selectively quote some of Rabin’s speeches. But this speech is rarely quoted. And you don’t have to work too hard to understand why.
Our struggle against murderous Islamic terror is also meant to awaken the world which is lying in slumber. We call on all nations and all people to devote their attention to the great danger inherent in Islamic fundamentalism. That is the real and serious danger which threatens the peace of the world in the forthcoming years.
Two weeks after Rabin agreed to take back the Hamas terrorists– the World Trade Center was bombed by a group led by the nephew of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, under Omar Abdel Rahman, the “Blind Sheikh” who led al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya, which like both Al Queda and Hamas, emerged out of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Rahman’s message to Muslims was very simple; “Cut the transportation of their countries, tear it apart, destroy their economy, burn their companies, eliminate their interests, sink their ships, shoot down their planes, kill them on the sea, air, or land.”
And that was exactly what they went on to do.
The World Trade Center bombing in 1993, set the stage for the more successful attacks of 2001. Just as the Hamas atrocities of the nineties set the stage for the bigger and more horrifying attacks to come.
Meanwhile in Afghanistan UN aid convoys were being ambushed and massacred. Tourists were being murdered in Egypt. Hamas killed two traffic cops in Tel Aviv. But no one worried. Peace just was just on the horizon. And so Israel was forced to submit to Islamic terrorism.
Hamas’ path to victory was paved by two US administrations and a press corp always eager to turn terrorists into victims, but never interested in hearing from the victims of the terrorists.
Islamic terrorism had won not on its own terms, but with the unified support of the United Nations standing behind it.
That is how Islamic terrorism always wins. That is the template behind its victory. And Rabin’s speech which warned the West of what was to come, was ignored. Today Rabin is remembered as the man who compromised with terrorism. It is the only thing he is remembered for .But compromising with terrorism did not bring peace. Not in Somalia, where US troops were brutally murdered next year. Not in Afghanistan, where the Taliban slaughtered aid convoys. Not in Indonesia or New York or Paris or Egypt. And certainly not in Gaza.
Muslim terrorists had won a battle with the backing of the US and the UN. They have won many more since then. Now they are trying to win the war.
Daniel Greenfield is a New York City based writer and blogger and a Shillman Journalism Fellow of the David Horowitz Freedom Center.
June 24, 2014
Hamas Summer Camps: Liberating Palestine With Rockets, Rifles, And Pistols
Memri Daily (The Middle East Media Research Institute)
This year, as in previous ones, Hamas has been operating summer camps throughout the Gaza Strip; the camps are attended by over 100,000 boys and girls from fifth grade to high school age. This year’s name for the camps – “Beacons of Liberation” – was, according to camps coordinator Mussa Al-Samak, aimed at enhancing the campers’ awareness of the liberation of “all of Palestine.”
Al-Samak said that the summer camps are emphasizing topics such as the right of return, Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque, and the resistance, and added that it is the movement’s responsibility “to sow the love of the homeland and the liberation of Palestine in the souls of the youth, so that this generation brings us to the stage of liberation.”
At the opening ceremony for the summer camps in western Gaza, Hamas Political Bureau deputy head Ismail Haniya said that the movement would continue “to call and educate for the liberation of all of Palestine, for actualizing the return of the refugees and the release of the prisoners, and for establishing a state on all Palestinian lands with Jerusalem as its capital.” He said that these camps focus on building a generation that could liberate the homeland and Jerusalem and bring the refugees back to their homes.
Paltimes.com, a website close to Hamas, reported that the logo chosen for the camps this year has symbolic meaning and that it features “a map of Palestine from the [Jordan] river to the [Mediterranean] sea, next to an image of the Dome of the Rock, as well as a beacon with a flame in the colors of the Palestinian flag… Beneath this is the motto ‘Prepare Against Them,’ from Allah’s words [Koran 8:60] ‘And prepare against them whatever you are able of power and of steeds of war,’ to stress that the preparation and nurturing [of children] from a young age, in all areas, will have an impact in the liberation of land and of man.”
Must see photos of the Summer Camp training methods:
June 18, 2014
Hamas: Abduction Of Three Israeli Youths Marks Start Of New Intifada In West Bank, End Of Palestinian Authority
Memri: The Middle East Media Research Institute
Hamas’s reaction to the recent abduction of three Israeli youths was one of satisfaction. Hamas members and supporters – who generally refer to the abductees as “soldiers,” even though none of them are, and two of them are only 16-years-old – called the abduction a legitimate action and an opportunity to expand armed operations to the West Bank. They also stated that it marks the start of a new intifada and the end of the Palestinian Authority (PA). Columnists on websites affiliated with the movement harshly criticized the PA for its security coordination with Israel and called on the people of the West Bank not to help Israel in locating the abductees.
The following are excerpts from reactions to the abduction by Hamas officials and on media belonging to or affiliated with the movement.
Hamas Spokesman: Resistance Is Legitimate; This Is An Opportunity To Extend The Confrontation To The West Bank
Hamas spokesman Husam Badran urged the people of the West Bank to confront the Israeli security forces. He wrote on his Facebook page: “We call upon our people in all parts of the West Bank to confront the occupation, whether as part of mass confrontations or privately-initiated resistance [operations]… This is an opportunity to widen the circle of confrontation, and restore the West Bank to its natural status as the spearhead of the resistance.”
The deputy speaker of the Palestinian parliament, Ahmad Bahar of Hamas, charged the prime minister and interior minister of the newly-formed national unity government, Rami Hamdallah, “to instruct the Palestinian security apparatuses to stop the security coordination [with Israel] and silence the voices calling to help the occupation locate the three abductees.” He added: “Resistance is a legitimate right [recognized] by all monotheistic religions and by U.N. resolutions. It is the right of our people to resist the occupation by every means until its removal from our lands.”
Hamas official Isma’il Al-Ashqar said that “the waves of arrests that the occupation forces are carrying out in the West Bank are clear proof of their perplexity… These arrests do not scare the resistance and will not detract from its determination.” He added: “The resistance will reach the occupation and its settlers within the occupied territories.”
The West Bank – The Next Arena Of Conflict
Columnist Iyad Al-Qara wrote on the Hamas website: “The unique resistance operation carried out in the West Bank fills the Palestine public with joy and glee and enjoys [this public’s] support and encouragement… The abduction of the soldiers [i.e., the youths] in Hebron is resounding proof of the public’s unanimous support for the abduction of soldiers, no matter what their repercussions, [and also proves] that the abduction of soldiers is the best and most important way to resolve the issue of the [Palestinian] prisoners incarcerated in the jails of the Israeli occupation… The West Bank is now moving into a new and unique phase of resistance activity, and it emphasizes that it will be the arena of conflict in this next phase.”
The Palestinian People Has Not Lost Faith In Itself And Its Resistance
Prominent Hamas member Dr. Yousuf Rizqa wrote: “There is no tangible information on the Hebron operation. Three settlers or soldiers are currently in the hands of the Palestinian resistance, [and] Netanyahu’s government and its security apparatuses have no information on the operation, or even a lead… The abduction was planned professionally and carried out cleverly and bravely. This courage is perhaps the main reason for its success so far. The people of Hebron have a long heritage of courage, and they possess an iron will…
“When there is occupation, there is resistance, and the Hebron operation is neither the first nor the last [operation to be carried out] under the racist occupation that shows no mercy to children, the elderly, or prisoners. Resistance is the last resort of the Palestinian people, who have no other choice. The negotiation plan of [PA President Mahmoud] ‘Abbas does not provide the wounded Palestinian people with an alternative [to resistance], nor does the international community provide the Palestinians with any hope. That is why the Palestinian places his faith in his gun and his resistance…
“The Hebron operation, like the abduction of Gilad Shalit, will be burned into the consciousness of the occupation and the leaders of the settlement [enterprise], causing them to realize that the occupation and settlements have no future and that the Palestinian people, which has lost faith in the Arab and international system, has not lost faith in itself and its resistance ability. [It will also cause them to realize] that the waning of the Arab Spring revolutions will not provide the occupier with an opportunity to continue the occupation – for the Palestinians have decided to rely on themselves and not to wait for the Arabs or the international [community].”
The Cooperation With The Occupation Spells The Beginning Of The End For The PA
Ibrahim Al-Madhoun, editor-in-chief of the Hamas-affiliated website Siraj Al-I’lam, wrote: “The disappearance of three Israeli soldiers and the possibility that they are in the hands of the resistance is good news for over 6,000 [Palestinian] prisoners whom the occupation treats with arrogance and brutality [in terms of] their humanitarian needs. This is a succinct message from the resistance, [conveying] that the voice of the hunger-striking [prisoners] has been heard…
“It’s well known that an operation in which 10 Israeli soldiers are killed is easier for the occupation than the disappearance or abduction of single soldier [snatched] from [Israel’s] military forces, which are armed to the teeth. Abducting and hiding soldiers uncovers the weakness and fragility of this entity [i.e., Israel], which boasts of its strength and its intelligence apparatuses. Three soldiers have disappeared into a well-guarded hideout, built like a maze, and the enemy and his arrogant army, who monitor [the area], do not know how, when and where they have gone. Moreover, the abduction and concealment of soldiers revitalizes the [Palestinian] cause and pours new life into its dried up veins.
“The position of the PA is condemned by all Palestinians, and is inconceivable [even] in the eyes of President ‘Abbas’s own associates. Real coordination activity is taking place, aimed at discovering the fate of the soldiers, even though they disappeared in Area C, which is not controlled by the [Palestinian] apparatuses…
“The PA’s attempts to gain an achievement by helping the occupation locate the hostages spells the beginning of its end and its ejection by the people. Hence, I advise [our] brothers in the security apparatuses to refuse to perform any action that will serve the occupation in this matter, and I hope that our people stop relaying information to this entity at this time, no matter how trivial. Any [action] by the [Palestinian] apparatuses and officers that helps the occupation is a mark of shame that will follow [these officers] and their sons.
“This three-pronged operation is a good opportunity for real changes in the West Bank, and it will mark the beginning of an intifada, be the consequences what they may. Gaza is not far from the arena [of events], and the threats voiced by Netanyahu and his government, and their holding Hamas responsible, suggest [that they have] hostile intentions towards the Gaza Strip.
“The Palestinian resistance in Gaza, all factions included, is ready to repel any expected attack. It will be able to stand fast and endure. Any Israeli aggression will encounter a steadfast, united and powerful people, with an [iron] will that shall take everyone by surprise. This is the opportunity we were waiting for to thwart Israel’s plans in the region, [which are aimed at] dividing the Palestinian ranks, obstructing the resistance and severing it from its Arab and Islamic surroundings.”
 Ar-ar.facebook.com/badran.hussam , June 13, 2014.
 Paltoday.ps, June 16, 2014.
 Al-Risalah (Gaza), June 17, 2014.
 Palinfo.com, June 17, 2014.
 Palinfo.com, June 17, 2014.
 Seraj.ps, June 15, 2014.
June 19, 2014
Hamas threatens third intifada amid ongoing IDF operation in West Bank
As Israel continues arrest raids in search for kidnapped teens, Hamas official warns that intifada will be ignited “when enough pressure is exerted on the Palestinian people.”
Hamas threatened to ignite a third intifada on Thursday as the IDF continued to arrest Palestinian suspects in the West Bank as part of Israel’s search for three teens kidnapped last week.
“We are capable of igniting a third Intifada and this is our irrevocable right. It will go off when enough pressure is exerted on the Palestinian people,” said Hamas senior official Salah Bardawil on Thursday.
Bardawil made his statements during a solidarity rally for the director of Hamas’s TV network in the West Bank. He was detained by IDF forces on Wednesday. The rally was held in the Gaza Strip where Bardawil added, “We will not stand idly by in the face of occupation in the West Bank,” and claimed that the purpose of Israel’s ongoing operation in the West Bank was to “wipe out Palestinian resistance.”
“Israel is also trying to sabotage the [Fatah-Hamas] reconciliation,” he stressed.
Fatah has previously condemned similar comments made by Hamas officials with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas calling the statements “irresponsible” and even “suspicious.”
“These three boys are human beings like us, and they should be returned to their families,” the Palestinian leader told foreign ministers at an Organization of the Islamic Conference gathering in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on Wednesday.
Abbas also said that those behind the kidnapping “want to destroy us,” adding that they would be held accountable for their deed regardless of their identity.
Since the start of operations in the wake of the kidnapping of three teens, 280 Palestinians have been arrested, 53 of whom were freed in the deal to secure the release of Gilad Schalit .
June 15, 2014
Netanyahu: We ‘know for a fact’ Hamas behind abduction
PM rejects denials from terror organization; Palestinian spokesman decries Hebron security measures as collective punishment
Times of Israel
Marissa Newman and Stuart Winer
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday afternoon dismissed Hamas’s denial of involvement in the abduction of yeshiva students Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Frenkel, and Gil-ad Shaar, saying Israel knew “for a fact” that Hamas was responsible.
“Hamas denials do not change this fact. And this attack should surprise no one because Hamas makes no secret of its agenda. Hamas is committed to the destruction of Israel and to carrying out terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians – including children,” he said.
Netanyahu had announced Sunday morning that Hamas was behind the kidnapping of the three teenagers in the West Bank on Thursday night, allegations that were swiftly shot down by a spokesman for the Gaza-based organization as “stupid” and “designed to break Hamas.”
In a briefing to the foreign press Sunday afternoon, the prime minister rejected as “patently absurd” the argument that the Palestinian Authority could not be held accountable for the attack due to the fact that the Gush Etzion region, where the teens were abducted from, was under Israeli security control. The prime minister repeatedly insisted, both in an address Saturday night and in his remarks Sunday, that the PA bears full responsibility for the fate of the three teenagers.
“When an attack takes place in Tel Aviv or in London or in New York – all these places have been attacked by terrorists – the question is not where the attack takes place. The question is where it originated. The kidnappers in this case set out from territory controlled by the Palestinian Authority, and the PA cannot absolve itself of its responsibility,” Netanyahu said.
He added that Israel would spare no effort to bring the boys home.
The prime minister emphasized that Israel had warned the international community of the repercussions of the recent establishment of a Hamas-Fatah unity government of technocrats, and warned that just as Hamas had gained control in Gaza, it would advance terror in the West Bank.
Israel significantly increased its security presence in Hebron on Sunday afternoon as a closure was imposed on the city, where the IDF has concentrated its efforts to hunt down the terrorists. Over 80 Palestinians, including a number of senior Hamas officials, were taken into Israeli custody overnight Saturday.
With the mass arrests and closures in Hebron, Israel’s crackdown on the kidnappers is a “collective punishment against the entire Palestinian people,” a spokesman for the Palestinian unity government said Sunday, according to the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency.
“The Israeli government cannot hold the Palestinians responsible for security in occupied territories which are not under Palestinian sovereignty and which house dozens of settlements and outposts,” Ehab Bessaiso said in a statement.
On Sunday afternoon, concrete blocks were brought to the outskirts of Hebron to block off roads, while bulldozers were deployed along other access routes, the Ynet news site reported. Palestinian sources said that the army was already preventing entry or exit from the city, which lies 30 kilometers (19 miles) south of Jerusalem.
The IDF was also deploying additional troops to the area, where the teens are believed to be held. An additional battalion of infantry forces was sent to Hebron to bolster forces already there and special units that operate observation balloons were also ordered to take up positions overlooking the city.
Hundreds of troops from the Shimshon battalion were reported to have interrupted their training exercises on the Golan Heights and were heading for the West Bank, where they may also be deployed around Hebron. By Sunday afternoon some 2,500 soldiers had been sent to the city, Ynet reported.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon declared a full closure of the city Saturday night, preventing passage of Palestinians through its checkpoints aside from those in need of urgent medical care.
The working assumption by Palestinian intelligence was that Hamas is behind the kidnappings, a suspicion echoed up by Netanyahu’s assertions.
Israeli soldiers search for three Jewish teenagers near Hebron, in the West Bank, Saturday, June 14, 2014 (photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
According to the Palestinian sources, Palestinian intelligence received notice of the kidnapping only 12 hours after the event, and since then has maintained communications with the Israeli side, with active coordination between the two security forces.
Bessaiso, the Palestinian spokesman, appealed to the “international community and all international human rights organizations to protect the Palestinian people against the Israeli escalation.”
Bassaiso condemned the Hebron closures and measures preventing visits to Palestinian political prisoners held in Israel, and “other oppressive procedures.”
Top Hamas official Mahmoud Toameh, arrested trying to enter Israel, spills to Shin Bet about Islamic extremist group’s activities and fundraising
In his interrogation, Toameh revealed that Hamas works with the Islamic Movement (an Israeli organization that promotes Islam among Israel’s Arab citizens) to keep Jews from entering the Temple Mount compound, by retaining a group of young men to harass and throw stones at Jewish visitors.
Toameh said that before this, Hamas backed another project which similarly acted to prevent Jewish visits to the Temple Mount by employing hundreds of young men to harass Jews entering the compound. That venture was closed down by Israeli authorities in 2013, prompting the new cooperation between Hamas and the Islamic Movement regarding the Temple Mount, which he said Hamas took pains to keep hidden from Israel.
These men, who ostensibly are studying Islamic theology at the site, are paid a monthly salary of NIS 4,000 to NIS 5000 ($1,150-$1,440) for their activities, the Shin Bet said.
Top Hamas official Mahmoud Toameh, arrested trying to enter Israel, spills to Shin Bet about Islamic extremist group’s activities and fundraising.
A Hamas flag at the Temple Mount, in 2013 (photo credit: Sliman Khader/Flash90)
Israel arrested a major Hamas figure earlier this month as he attempted to infiltrate the country via the Allenby Bridge crossing, the Shin Bet security service revealed Thursday afternoon. Mahmoud Toameh, a “top-ranking overseas operative of Hamas,” gave the security agency a wealth of details about the activities of the radical Islamic group during his interrogation, it said, including its funding sources, international activities and activities inside Israel. Notably, he revealed that Hamas pays hundreds of young Israeli Arab citizens to harass Jews seeking to enter the Temple Mount area.
Toameh was arrested on May 14, the Shin Beit said, and formally indicted on undisclosed charges on Thursday.
Toameh also said that Hamas maintains a secret connection with firebrand cleric Raed Salah, head of the Islamic Movement’s northern branch. Salah, an Israeli citizen, has been arrested several times for his activities, and was jailed between 2003 and 2005 for providing funding to Hamas.
Until about a year ago, Hamas was primarily funded by Iran, Toameh told the Shin Bet. The closing of the tap by Tehran has caused economic hardship for the group, but at the same time, Hamas runs several civil groups and companies abroad, most of them real estate groups in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states, which work to provide funding.
Toameh sits on the main economic council of Hamas, and, according to the Shin Bet, detailed various arrangements the group makes to transfer funds to both its Gaza base and to supporters inside Israel or the West Bank. Several of these involve Islamic charities operating abroad. According to Toameh, it was at his suggestion that Hamas began surreptitiously transferring funds via real estate deals — for example, a Saudi Arabian-backed mosque, built several years ago in the West Bank city of Tulkarem, resulted in some 750,000 riyals (about $200,000) being transferred to Hamas operatives.
According to Toameh, the “Palestinian Business Forum,” ostensibly a business organization promoting Palestinian economic development, was founded by Hamas operatives, who use the group to further the economic interests of Hamas.
Hamas maintains close ties with the global Muslim Brotherhood movement, Toameh said, and noted that eight members of Hamas’s guiding Shura Council were members of the Muslim Brotherhood’s international arm. He said that Turkey and Qatar are major centers of Hamas activity abroad, and Hamas operates there with the tacit approval of the governments of those two countries.
Regarding the recent reconciliation between Hamas and the Fatah faction of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Toameh said that it was the result of a practical decision by Hamas and did not have any bearing on the group’s ideology. Hamas, he said, realized that in order to have a voice in the direction of the PA, and to gain greater political influence beyond Gaza, it would have to join the PLO and participate in general Palestinian government.
According to the Shin Bet, Mahmoud Mahmoud Issa Toameh was born in 1951 in Tulkarem and lived in Saudi Arabia for a brief period during the 1970s. He joined the Muslim Brotherhood in 1983 and then became a founding member of Hamas when it split off in 1987. He is married and a father of eight. In 2008 he joined the Shura Council, the body headed by Khaled Mashaal which oversees policy, including military policy, for Hamas.
Sworn to destroy Israel, the Shiite terrorist organisation maintains an arsenal of more than 100.000 rockets and missiles, and a standing force of thousands of trained terrorists.
Rocket firing – Suicide attacks – Civilians and soldiers abduction – Territory infiltration
14/03 – Explosives were detonated against IDF soldiers. In retaliation, the army targeted Hezbollah posts.
Syria has been highly unstable over the last few years, and a growing presence of many different armed groups has gathered near the Israeli frontier, among them Hezbollah. While at the moment they are busy on other fronts, these groups may turn against Israel.
Detonation of explosives directed at the IDF – Firing at IDF posts
18/03 – Four soldiers were injured by an explosive detonated at the border. In retaliation, the IDF targeted Syrian Army posts.
VIOLENCE AGAINST CIVILIANS AND SOLDIERS
Popular violence in Judea and Samaria threatens both Israeli civilians and soldiers. Stones and firebombs are often thrown at vehicles and soldiers along principal highways, and during Friday demonstrations in different locations.
Firebombs – Rock throwing
23/03 – An IDF soldier was injured by rocks thrown at him in Bethlehem.
The sea offers another way to smuggle weapons to terrorist organisations, both on the southern and the northern frontiers. If they are not seized, these weapons are used against Israel.
Arming terrorist organisations
27/03 – Two boats heading to Gaza with weapons aboard were intercepted by the IDF in the Mediterranean Sea.
05/03 – The IDF seized an Iranian shipment of weapons discovered aboard the Klos-C in the Red Sea.
SUICIDE ATTACKS FROM JUDEA/SAMARIA
Small terrorist squads affiliated with Hamas, Al-Tanzim Forces or other terrorist groups, plan and organise terrorist attack against Israelis. They often build their explosives manually.
Suicide and bombing attacks – Firing at IDF soldiers
3/01 – In a joint operation between the Israeli Police and the IDF, those responsible for the Bat Yam bus combing last December were arrested.
Sunni terrorist organisation ruling the Gaza Strip that won’t recognize Israel. It has rebuilt its weapons arsenal since Operation Pillar of Defense and has built complex underground terrorist facilities.
Rocket firing – Abduction of civilians and soldiers – Territory infiltration – Firing at IDF patrols
21/03 – The IDF discovered an underground tunnel dug from the Gaza Strip that reached Israel
PALESTINIAN ISLAMIC JIHAD
A smaller but highly active terrorist organisation in the Gaza Strip. It has perpetrated dozens of suicide attacks against Israel and fired thousands of rockets at Israel.
12-15/03 – The PIJ fired over 70 rockets that hit Israel. In retaliation, the IDF targeted 36 terror sites.
DEFENDING ISRAEL FROM ROCKETS
The IDF has developed technologies like the Iron Dome system to protect the citizens of Israel from rocket attack. The Homefront Command also educates the population on how to act in the case of an emergency. Israelis who live in the south have as little as 15 seconds to reach a bomb shelter.
Rockets fired at Israeli houses
April 16, 2014
A Reminder About Hamas
Every once in a while we get a useful reminder why there is no peace between Israelis and Palestinians–and the answer isn’t that Israel has put up 100 or 1,000 housing units.
This week, Palestinian terrorists attacked an Israeli family on their way to a Passover seder in the West Bank. The terrorists murdered the father of the family and left the wife and nine-year-old child wounded.
Here’s part of an AP report:
The prime minister of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip on Tuesday praised a shooting that killed an Israeli and wounded his wife and son as they drove through the West Bank the previous evening en route to a Passover meal. Speaking in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh said the attack outside the city of Hebron “brought back life to the path of resistance” against Israel and warned of more attacks in the Palestinian territory.
Too many commentators fail to take Hamas’s history and ideology seriously, but the Hamas charter makes it clear that the murder of Jews is not only defensible but necessary. Thus we see Hamas’s leader applauding the murder of a father and wounding of his wife and child for the crime of driving to a seder. There is a precedent: In 2002, Hamas proudly claimed responsibility for a bombing at a Passover seder in a hotel in Netanya, Israel, that killed thirty people and injured well over a hundred.
The fact that Hamas is ruling half of Palestine is the greatest obstacle to peace. Haniyeh is, after all, not a lone voice in Hamas, but its political leader and in 2006-2007 the prime minister of the Palestinian Authority. Those who continue to believe peace is “an inch away,” or that construction of houses in Israeli settlements is the true barrier to peace, should ponder Haniyeh’s celebration of terrorism and murder.
March 27, 2014
Hamas’ new Islamist law causes fury in Palestine
New law introduces lashings, chopping of limbs and execution
Nasouh Nazzal, Correspondent
Ramallah: A move by Hamas to replace an almost 80-year old punitive law with a new conservative one has been condemned by Palestinian factions.
The Popular Front for Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), along with several other Palestinian factions, have labelled the move as an attempt to impose Hamas’ conservative agenda on the whole of Palestinian society.
Faraj Al Ghoul, the head of the Legal Department at the Palestinian Legislative Council in Gaza, recently announced that the Palestinian parliament in Gaza will impose a new punitive law to replace Law No 74 for the year 1936.
“Hamas’ attempts to pass its new punitive law in Gaza are illegal as the Palestinian Legislative Council’s term has already expired and is therefore not authorised to issue such a law,” the PFLP statement said, pointing out that the law that was passed by a parliament dominated entirely by Hamas.
“The new law will harm the interests of the Palestinians and perpetuate the Palestinian internal split. Hamas must retreat and show priority and preference to the higher Palestinian interests,” it went on to say.
Hamas claims that the new proposed law aims at eliminating crimes and deterring criminals in Gaza.
“Hamas does not and cannot see that development will allow for the achieving of this goal, especially given the tough and deteriorating social and economic circumstances under which Palestinians live in Gaza,” the PFLP said.
“The ruling Hamas in Gaza had failed for eight consecutive years to resolve the continuous crisis of the Gaza Strip, which includes ever-growing poverty and spreading unemployment and the delay of payment of the public workers,” the PFLP statement said.
A senior Hamas official told Gulf News that the Gaza Strip and Palestine in general need a new punitive law to replace the old and “impractical” one. He said that the spread of crime is the reason the new punitive law “which is inspired by” Sharia has been drafted.
Sharia allows for lashings, executions and punishments such as cutting off the hand of a thief.
The law stipulates a minimum of 20 lashes for a minor offense, with the number of lashes increasing with the seriousness of the offense. A minimum of 80 lashes is to be imposed in criminal cases. The law also widens the use of the death penalty as per Sharia. Articles No 289, and 290 of the proposed law stipulate the cutting off of the hand of a thief and a minimum of seven years in jail in case the criminal repeats his crime.
The PFLP said that a new punitive law should be purely civil in nature and based on rules and regulations that are compatible with modern life.
“Penalties like lashing are not compatible with Palestinian society, which is a multicultural society,” the statement said.
The PFLP said that the need for new laws should be motivated by the need to achieve internal reconciliation and that all the Palestinian factions could come together to discuss and impose a new punitive law together.
“This is the only possible way to make new laws in the Gaza Strip and the only way to fight and be rid of the deepening social and economic crisis in Palestine,” the statement added.
Today, The Henry Jackson Society launched Terrorism and Islamism in the MENA Region, a one-of-a-kind map detailing the various levels of Islamism and terrorist activities across the Middle East and North Africa region.
Three years after the ‘Arab Spring’ broke out, the increasing presence of Islamist parties and explosive number of terrorist activities has led to analarming security situation across a most vital region. In light of these growths, The Henry Jackson Society examined these trends and created the first-of-its-kind map, providing invaluable insight into this very unstable area of the world.
Key aspects of the Terrorism and Islamism in the MENA Region map:
Assesses the increasing dangers facing the Middle East and North Africa through the terrorism-Islamism nexus
Identifies the strength of Islamism in each country in a detailed information box
Details the main terror groups active in the region
Shows the number of terrorist attacks, fatalities and injured
Displays the danger and actual reach of a potential Iranian nuclear weapon
Describes the two major strategic points in the region: the Suez Canal and the Strait of Hormuz
Locates the major oil fields and foreign military bases
Underlines both the heavy defense expenditure and importance of military forces in the area
Includes the demographics and economic indicators for each nation
The Palestinians’ Real Enemies
Middle East Quarterly
For most of the twentieth century, inter-Arab politics were dominated by the doctrine of pan-Arabism, postulating the existence of “a single nation bound by the common ties of language, religion and history. … behind the facade of a multiplicity of sovereign states”; and no single issue dominated this doctrine more than the “Palestine question” with anti-Zionism forming the main common denominator of pan-Arab solidarity and its most effective rallying cry. But the actual policies of the Arab states have shown far less concern for pan-Arab ideals, let alone for the well-being of the Palestinians, than for their own self-serving interests. Indeed, nothing has done more to expose the hollowness of pan-Arabism than its most celebrated cause.
Emir Faisal ibn Hussein of Mecca became the effective leader of the nascent pan-Arab movement. He placed Palestine on the pan-Arab agenda by falsely claiming that he and his father and brother had been promised the country in return for their anti-Ottoman uprising.
Denying Palestinian Nationalism
Consider, for instance, Emir Faisal ibn Hussein of Mecca, the celebrated hero of the “Great Arab Revolt” against the Ottoman Empire and the effective leader of the nascent pan-Arab movement. Together with his father and his older brother Abdullah, Faisal placed Palestine on the pan-Arab agenda by (falsely) claiming that they had been promised the country in return for their anti-Ottoman rising. In January 1919, he signed an agreement with Chaim Weizmann, head of the Zionists, supporting the November 1917 Balfour Declaration on the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine and the adoption of “all necessary measures … to encourage and stimulate immigration of Jews into Palestine on a large scale.” Yet when the opportunity for self-aggrandizement arose, in March 1920, he had himself crowned king of Syria “within its natural boundaries, including Palestine.” Had either option been realized, Palestine would have disappeared from the international scene at that time.
Nor did Faisal abandon his grand ambitions after his expulsion from Damascus by the French in July 1920. Quite the reverse, using his subsequent position as Iraq’s founding monarch, he toiled ceaselessly to bring about the unification of the Fertile Crescent under his rule. This policy was sustained after his untimely death in September 1933 by successive Iraqi leaders, notably by Nuri Said, Faisal’s comrade-in-arms and a long-time prime minister. In the summer of 1936, Said sought to convince Palestine’s Arab and Jewish communities, as well as the British government, to agree to the country’s incorporation into a pan-Arab federation, and six years later, he published a detailed plan for pan-Arab unification (known as the Blue Book) that envisaged that “Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, and Transjordan shall be reunited into one state.”
The scheme was vigorously opposed by Abdullah, who strove to transform the emirate of Transjordan (latterly Jordan), which he had ruled since 1921, into a springboard for the creation of a “Greater Syrian” empire comprising Syria, Palestine, and possibly, Iraq and Saudi Arabia; and it was the Arab states’ determination to block this ambition and to avail themselves of whatever parts of Palestine they could that underlay the concerted attempt to destroy the state of Israel at birth. This, on the face of it, was a shining demonstration of pan-Arab solidarity; in reality, it was a scramble for Palestinian territory in the classic imperialist tradition. As Arab League secretary-general Abdel Rahman Azzam admitted to a British reporter, Abdullah “was to swallow up the central hill regions of Palestine with access to the Mediterranean at Gaza. The Egyptians would get the Negev. [The] Galilee would go to Syria, except that the coastal part as far as Acre would be added to Lebanon if its inhabitants opted for it by a referendum [i.e., the inhabitants of the said coastal strip].”
Had Israel lost the war, its territory would have been divided among the invading Arab forces. The name Palestine would have vanished into the dustbin of history. By surviving the pan-Arab assault, Israel has paradoxically saved the Palestinian national movement from complete oblivion.
Manipulating the Palestinian Cause
Having helped drive the Palestinians to national ruin, the Arab states continued to manipulate the Palestinian national cause to their own ends. Neither Egypt nor Jordan allowed Palestinian self-determination in the parts of Palestine they occupied during the 1948 war. Upon occupying the biblical lands of Judea and Samaria, Abdullah moved to erase all traces of corporate Palestinian Arab identity. On April 4, 1950, the territory was formally annexed to Jordan to be subsequently known as the “West Bank” of the Hashemite kingdom of Jordan. Its residents became Jordanian citizens, and they were increasingly integrated into the kingdom’s economic, political, and social structures. And while Egypt showed no desire to annex the occupied Gaza Strip, this did not imply support of Palestinian nationalism or of any sort of collective political awareness among the Palestinians. The refugees were kept under oppressive military rule, were denied Egyptian citizenship, and were subjected to severe restrictions on travel. “The Palestinians are useful to the Arab states as they are,” President Gamal Abdel Nasser candidly responded to an enquiring Western reporter. “We will always see that they do not become too powerful. Can you imagine yet another nation on the shores of the eastern Mediterranean!” Had these territories not come under Israel’s control during the June 1967 war, their populations would have lost whatever vestiges of Palestinian identity they retained since 1948. For the second time in two decades, Israel unwittingly salvaged the Palestinian national cause.
Following the 1948 war, Palestinian refugees were kept under oppressive Egyptian military rule in Gaza, were denied Egyptian citizenship, and were subjected to severe restrictions on travel. The situation has not changed significantly in Egypt. Here, young Palestinian refugees from Syria ask for recognition in Egypt, May 6, 2013.
Nor was Syria more sympathetic to the idea of Palestinian statehood. During his brief presidency (April-August 1949), Husni Zaim proposed the resettlement of Palestinian refugees in Syria in return for financial and political gain while Hafez Assad (1970-2000), who as late as September 1974 described Palestine as “a basic part of southern Syria,” was a persistent obstacle to Palestinian self-determination. He pledged allegiance to any solution amenable to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)—appointed by the Arab League in October 1974 as the “sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people”—so long as it did not deviate from the Syrian line advocating Israel’s destruction. Yet when in November 1988, the PLO pretended to accept the November 1947 partition resolution (and by implication to recognize Israel’s existence) so as to end its ostracism by the United States, Syria immediately opposed the move. The PLO then took this pretense a step further by signing the September 1993 Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-government Arrangements (DOP) with Israel. This provided for Palestinian self-rule in the entire West Bank and Gaza Strip for a transitional period of up to five years, during which Israel and the Palestinians would negotiate a permanent peace settlement. But the Syrian regime strongly condemned the declaration while the Damascus-based Palestinian terrorist, Ahmad Jibril, threatened PLO chairman Yasser Arafat with death.
A no less instrumental approach was exhibited by Saddam Hussein, another self-styled pan-Arab champion whose professed allegiance to the Palestinian cause was matched by a long history of treating that cause with indifference, if not outright hostility. Saddam stood firmly against Iraqi intervention to aid the Palestinians in Jordan during the “Black September” of 1970 and subsequently sought to exclude Palestinians from coming to work in Iraq’s booming, oil-rich economy. Though a vociferous critic of Egypt’s Anwar Sadat for reaching a separate peace with Israel in 1979, Saddam quickly reconsidered when he needed Egyptian military aid in his war against Iran (1980-88), toiling tirelessly for Cairo’s readmission into the Arab fold. Nor was Saddam deterred from collaborating with Israel against Syrian interests in Lebanon (to punish Assad for his support of Tehran in its war against Baghdad), or from seeking sophisticated Israeli military equipment. In 1984, at a time of pressure due to the war with Iran, he went so far as to voice public support for peace negotiations with the Jewish state, emphasizing that “no Arab leader looks forward to the destruction of Israel” and that any solution to the conflict would require “the existence of a secure state for the Israelis.”
This support, to be sure, did not prevent Saddam from attempting to link his August 1990 invasion of Kuwait to the Palestine problem. During the months of negotiations with the Kuwaitis before the invasion, Saddam made no mention of Palestine. Once confronted with a firm international response, he immediately opted to “Zionize” the crisis by portraying his predatory move as the first step toward “the liberation of Jerusalem.” But this pretense made no impression whatsoever on most Arab states, which dismissed the spurious link as the ploy it obviously was and fought alongside the West to liberate Kuwait.
Nor did the anti-Iraq coalition collapse when Saddam, in a desperate bid to widen the conflict, fired thirty-nine Scud missiles at Israel—a move cheered by the Palestinians and by demonstrators in marginal states such as Yemen but otherwise greeted with conspicuous calm by the proverbially restive “Arab street.” Not a single Arab regime was swept from power following its participation in the war, with the war even producing an ad hoc tacit alliance between Israel and the Arab members of the anti-Saddam coalition: Israel kept the lowest possible profile, eschewing retaliation for Iraq’s missile attacks while the latter highlighted the hollowness of Saddam’s pan-Arab pretenses by sustaining the war operations against Baghdad.
If anything, it was the Palestinians who paid a heavy price for their entanglement in the conflict as the PLO’s endorsement of the Iraqi occupation led to its ostracism by the Arab world and the postwar expulsion of most of the 400,000 Palestinians who had been living and working in Kuwait. So much for pan-Arab solidarity with “the sole representative of the Palestinian people.”
The political manipulation of the Palestinian cause was mirrored by the dismal treatment of the Palestinian refugees based in Arab states since the 1948 war. Far from being welcomed, the new arrivals were seen as an unpatriotic and cowardly lot who had shamefully abdicated their national duty while expecting others to fight on their behalf, and this attitude was entrenched and institutionalized over time. Yet with their desire to offload their Palestinian guests matched by the lingering dream of Israel’s destruction, the Arab states as well as the Palestinian leadership rejected U.N. General Assembly resolution 194 of December 11, 1948, which conditioned repatriation on the attainment of comprehensive peace and partial refugee resettlement in the host Arab states. The resolution’s subsequent transformation into the cornerstone of an utterly spurious claim to a “right of return” has only served to perpetuate the refugee problem as the Arab states used this “right” as a pretext to prevent Palestinian assimilation into their societies in anticipation of their eventual return to their homeland.
Nowhere has this state of affairs been more starkly illustrated than in Lebanon, the most liberal Arab state up until the mid-1970s. Fearful lest the burgeoning and increasingly radicalized Palestinian population (which grew from 100,000 in 1948 to about 500,000 in 2012) undermine the country’s fragile confessional edifice, the authorities barred its incorporation into Lebanon’s social, political, and economic structures. As a result, the vast majority of Palestinians have remained stateless refugees with more than half living in abject poverty in twelve squalid and overcrowded camps (another five camps were destroyed during the Lebanese civil war of 1975-90), administered by the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), created in 1949 for the exclusive relief of Palestinian Arab refugees.
Camp residents or not, Lebanese Palestinians have been excluded from numerous walks of life and spheres of activity due to their alien status; and unlike other foreign residents who can evade this discrimination by virtue of their countries’ reciprocity treaties with Lebanon, the stateless Palestinians can claim no such rights and have consequently been singled out for distinct mistreatment including severe restrictions on travel, property ownership, and ability to work. For decades, they were barred by government decree from more than seventy professions, from doorkeepers, to mechanics, to file clerks, to schoolteachers, to personnel managers; and while the ministry of labor lifted the ban on fifty professions in June 2005, the actual application of this measure has been haphazard at best. Likewise, only 2 percent of Palestinians took advantage of the August 2010 legislation aimed at improving their access to the official labor market and the social security benefit system with Lebanese law still barring Palestinians from at least twenty-five professions requiring syndicated membership (such as law, medicine, and engineering) and discriminating against their work and social conditions (e.g., Palestinians are underpaid in comparison to Lebanese workers for performing the same jobs and overpay for their pensions). Palestinian refugees are still prevented from registering property in accordance with a discriminatory 2001 law.
While Lebanon may offer the starkest example of abuse, nowhere in the Arab world have the Palestinians been treated like “brothers.” In accordance with Arab League resolutions, all Arab states reject naturalization and/or resettlement as solutions to the refugee problem and refuse as a matter of principle to contribute to UNRWA’s budget or to assume responsibility for any of its functions; and all restrict the freedom of movement of their Palestinian residents as well as their property rights and access to such government services as health, education, and social benefits. When in 2004 Saudi Arabia revised its naturalization law allowing foreigners who had resided in its territory for ten years to apply for citizenship, the estimated 500,000 Palestinians living and working in the kingdom were conspicuously excluded. The pretext: the Arab League’s stipulation that Palestinians living in Arab countries be denied citizenship to avoid dissolution of their identity and protect their “right to return” to their homeland.
Even in Jordan, where most Palestinians have been naturalized and incorporated into the country’s fabric, they remain largely marginalized and discriminated against. Between 1949 and 1967, when Jordan was in control of the West Bank, some 250,000-500,000 Palestinians moved across to the East Bank or migrated abroad in search of a better life. But even East Bank Palestinians have been subjected to systematic discrimination. They pay much heavier taxes than their Bedouin compatriots; they receive close to zero state benefits; they are almost completely shut out of government jobs, and they have very little, if any, political representation: Not one of Jordan’s twelve governorships is headed by a Palestinian, and the number of Palestinian parliamentarians is disproportionately low.
The situation is further exacerbated by the fact that more than two million Palestinians, most of whom have full Jordanian citizenship, are registered as UNRWA refugees with some 370,000 living in ten recognized camps throughout the country. This has in turn resulted in the perception of the kingdom’s entire Palestinian population as refugees who would eventually depart to implement their “right of return.”
This outlook can be traced to the founding of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1964, which quickly challenged Jordan as the focus of Palestinian national identity. The situation came to a head in the autumn of 1970 with the organization’s attempt to overthrow the Hashemite dynasty. This forced King Hussein to drive the PLO out of the country, gaining traction in July 1988 when hundreds of thousands of West Bankers lost their Jordanian citizenship as a result of the king’s severance of “administrative and legal ties” with the territory. After the signing of the DOP and the July 1994 Jordanian-Israeli peace treaty, the process shifted to the East Bank where thousands of Palestinians were stripped of their Jordanian citizenship. “For East Bankers, the right of return is often held up as the panacea which will recreate Jordan’s Bedouin or Hashemite identity,” read a 2008 confidential memo by the U.S. ambassador to Amman:
At their most benign, our East Banker contacts tend to count on the right of return as a solution to Jordan’s social, political, and economic woes. But underlying many conversations with East Bankers is the theory that once the Palestinians leave, “real” Jordanians can have their country back … In fact, many of our East Banker contacts do seem more excited about the return [read: departure] of Palestinian refugees than the Palestinians themselves.
Not only have the host Arab states marginalized and abused their Palestinian guests, but they have not shrunk from massacring them on a grand scale whenever this suited their needs. When in 1970 his throne was endangered by the Palestinian guerilla organizations, the affable and thoroughly Westernized King Hussein slaughtered thousands of Palestinians during a single month, now known as “Black September.” Fearing certain death, scores of Palestinian fighters fled their Jordanian “brothers” to surrender themselves to the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). Civilian casualties were exorbitant with estimates ranging from three thousand to fifteen thousand dead—higher than the Palestinian death toll in the 1948 war.
In the summer of 1976, Lebanese Christian militias, backed by the Syrian army, massacred some 3,500 Palestinians, mostly civilians, in the Beirut refugee camp of Tel Zaatar. Six years later, these very militias slaughtered hundreds of Palestinians in the refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila, this time under the IDF’s watchful eye. None of the Arab states came to the Palestinians’ rescue.
Palestinians flee Tel Zaatar refugee camp. In the summer of 1976, Lebanese Christian militias, backed by the Syrian army, massacred some 3,500 Palestinians, mostly civilians, in Tel Zaatar. None of the Arab states came to the Palestinians’ rescue.
When in 1983 the PLO tried to reestablish its military presence in Lebanon, having been driven out the previous year by Israel, it was unceremoniously expelled by the Syrian government, which went on to instigate an internecine war among the Palestinian factions in Lebanon that raged for years and cost an untold number of lives. So much so that Salah Khalaf (aka Abu Iyad), the number two man in the PLO, accused Damascus of committing worse crimes against the Palestinian people than “those of the Israeli enemy.”
In the summer of 2007, the Lebanese army killed hundreds of Palestinians, including many civilians, in the north Lebanese refugee camp of Nahr al-Bared, inflicting widespread environmental damage and driving some 30,000 persons to seek refuge in a nearby camp.
Thousands of Palestinians have been killed in the ongoing Syrian civil war, and tens of thousands have fled the country with refugee camps subjected to military attacks and prolonged sieges that reduced their inhabitants to destitution and starvation. The large Yarmuk camp south of Damascus, once home to some 250,000 Palestinians, including 150,000 officially registered refugees, is now “nothing but ruins, and houses only around 18,000 residents who couldn’t escape to Lebanon, Jordan, or elsewhere.”
Much has been made of the Palestinian exodus of 1948, but during their decades of dispersal, the Palestinians have been subjected to similarly traumatic ordeals at the hands of their Arab brothers. As early as the 1950s, the Arab gulf states expelled striking Palestinian workers while the Black September events led to the expulsion of some 20,000 Palestinians from Jordan and the demolition of their camps. And this tragedy pales in comparison with the eviction of most of Kuwait’s 400,000 Palestinians after the 1991 Kuwait war. “What Kuwait did to the Palestinian people is worse than what has been done by Israel to Palestinians in the occupied territories,” Arafat lamented, as if it were not the PLO’s endorsement of Iraq’s brutal occupation (August 1990-February 1991) that triggered this deadly retribution.
It mattered not that this community had nothing to do with the PLO’s reckless move. Within months of the country’s liberation, only 50,000-80,000 Palestinians remained in the emirate, and by the end of the year, the number had dwindled to some 30,000. Most of these were holders of Egyptian travel documents, originally from Gaza; they were unable to obtain visas to anywhere in the world, including Egypt, the governing power in their homeland at the time when they left for the gulf. By contrast, as noted in The Palestine Yearbook of International Law, “Israel generally placed no obstacles on the post-war return to the territories of Palestinian families from the West Bank,” repatriating some 30,000 West Bankers and 7,000 Gazans with valid Israeli identity cards who had been living and working in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
No sooner had the dust settled on the Kuwait exodus than the Palestinians experienced yet another expulsion, this time from Libya. In a speech on September 1, 1995, as Israel was about to surrender control of the Palestinian populated areas in the West Bank to Arafat’s Palestinian Authority (control of the Gaza population had been surrendered the previous year), Mu’ammar al-Qaddafi announced his intention to expel all Palestinians living and working in the country, urging the Arab states to follow his lead so as to expose the hollowness of the Palestinian-Israeli peace process. He argued,
Since the Palestinian leaders claim they have now got a homeland and a passport, let the 30,000 Palestinians in Libya go back to their homeland, and let’s see if the Israelis would permit them to return. That’s how the world will find out that the peace it’s been advocating is no more than treachery and a conspiracy.
While no Arab state took up Qaddafi’s advice and some implored him to rescind his decision, none opened their doors to the deportees. Lebanon denied entry to several thousand arrivals without Lebanese travel documents and banned maritime transport from Libya to preempt the possible flow of deportees while Egypt allowed Palestinians with Israeli permits for entry to Gaza or the West Bank to cross its territory—under escort—to the Palestinian-ruled areas, leaving thousands of hapless refugees stranded in the Egyptian desert for months. Holders of residence permits elsewhere were gradually able to move out; the rest were eventually allowed to remain in Libya when Qaddafi rescinded his decision in early 1997.
Last but not least, the toppling of Saddam Hussein in April 2003 unleashed a tidal wave of violence and terror against Iraq’s 34,000-strong Palestinian community, driving some 21,000 people to flee the country in fear for their lives. Yet far from protecting their long time “guests,” the internationally-propped Iraqi government was implicated in the arbitrary detention, torture, killing, and disappearance of Palestinians while none of the neighboring Arab states (with rare, temporary exceptions) opened their doors to fleeing Iraqi Palestinians. “It’s hard to understand why Syria has provided refuge to nearly a million Iraqi refugees but is shutting the door on hundreds of Palestinians also fleeing Iraq,” commented a leading human rights watchdog. “The Syrian government’s mistreatment of these Palestinian refugees contrasts sharply with its declarations of solidarity with the Palestinian people.” A few years later the same watchdog was voicing the same grievance vis-à-vis the Lebanese government for preventing Palestinian refugees fleeing the Syrian civil war from entering its territory.
Yasser Arafat (in glasses) at a press conference discussing the situation between the Palestinians and Jordanian authorities, Amman, 1970. Their mutual animosity was greatly exacerbated by the recklessness of the Palestinian leadership, which turned on Arab host societies whenever given the opportunity. The PLO’s subversive activities against the Jordanian regime culminated in the Black September massacres.
No Love Lost
In fairness to the Arab states, their animosity and distrust were more than reciprocated by the Palestinians. As early as the 1948 war, the pan-Arab volunteer force that entered Palestine to fight the Jews found itself at loggerheads with the community it was supposed to defend. Denunciations and violent clashes were common with the local population often refusing to provide the Arab Liberation Army, as this force was ambitiously named, with the basic necessities for daily upkeep and military operations; for their part, Arab army personnel abused their Palestinian hosts of whom they were openly contemptuous.
This mutual animosity was greatly exacerbated in subsequent decades by the recklessness of the Palestinian leadership, headed from the mid-1960s to November 2004 by Arafat, which turned on Arab host societies whenever given the opportunity. As noted above, it was the PLO’s subversive activities against the Jordanian regime that set in train the chain of events culminating in the Black September massacres. Likewise, the PLO’s abuse of its growing power base in Lebanon, where it established itself after its expulsion from Jordan, and its meddling in that country’s internal politics, helped trigger the Lebanese civil war that raged for nearly two decades and cost hundreds of thousands of lives.
“I remember literally screaming at him in my own house,” the Palestinian academic Walid Khalidi, then based in Beirut, said, recalling his desperate attempt to dissuade Arafat from taking sides in the nascent civil war. “I was really very angry because it just didn’t make sense for him to say that. I told him that we as Palestinians had no business calling for the ostracism of the Phalangists, and that it would drive them all the way into the hands of the Israelis.” This point was not lost on ordinary Palestinians, who often blamed Arafat for their Lebanese misfortunes. When in summer 1976 the PLO chairman visited survivors of the Tel Zaatar massacre, he was treated to a barrage of rotten vegetables and chants of “traitor” by the embittered refugees who accused him of provoking the camp’s blood-drenched fall.
This political meddling was accompanied by wanton violence wreaked by the PLO on its host society. In a repeat of their Jordanian lawlessness, Palestinian guerrillas turned the vibrant and thriving Lebanese state, whose capital of Beirut was acclaimed as the “Paris of the Middle East,” into a hotbed of violence and anarchy. Several districts of Beirut and the refugee camps came under exclusive Palestinian control, so much so that they became generally known as the Fakhani Republic, after the Beirut district in which Arafat had set up his headquarters. Substantial parts of southern Lebanon or “Fatahland” also were under Palestinian control. In flagrant violation of Lebanese sovereignty, the PLO set up roadblocks, took over buildings and drove out local residents, operated extortion rackets, protected criminals fleeing from Lebanese justice, and committed countless atrocities against Lebanese civilians, notably the January 1976 massacre of hundreds of residents of the Christian town of Damour, south of Beirut, and the expulsion of the remaining population.
Self-serving interventionism under the pretence of pan-Arab solidarity has transformed the bilateral Palestinian-Israeli dispute into a multilateral Arab-Israeli conflict, thereby stirring unrealistic hopes and expectations in Palestinian political circles and, at key junctures, inciting widespread and horrifically destructive violence. The consequence has been to increase the intensity of the conflict and make its resolution far more complex and tortuous, leaving the Palestinians stateless for over six-and-a-half decades.
The sooner the Palestinians reject this spurious link and recognize that their cause is theirs alone, the sooner are they likely to make their own peace with the existence of the Jewish state—as stipulated by the 1947 partition resolution—and win their own state at long last despite their Arab “brothers.”
Efraim Karsh, editor of the Middle East Quarterly, is professor of Middle East and Mediterranean studies at King’s College London and professor of political studies at Bar-Ilan University where he is also a senior research associate at the BESA Center for Strategic Studies. This article is part of a wider study prepared under the auspices of the BESA Center.
 Walid Khalidi, “Thinking the Unthinkable: A Sovereign Palestinian State,” Foreign Affairs, July 1978, pp. 695-6; Hisham Sharabi, Nationalism and Revolution in the Arab World (New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1966), p. 3.
 Walter Laqueur, ed., The Israel-Arab Reader (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1970), p. 37.
 Gen. Nuri Said, Arab Independence and Unity: A Note on the Arab Cause with Particular Reference to Palestine, and Suggestions for a Permanent Settlement to which Are Attached Texts of All the Relevant Documents (Baghdad: Government Press, 1943), p. 11.
 “Interview [by] Clare Hollingowith with Azzam Pasha, Mar. 23, 1948, S25/9020”; see, also, “Fortnightly Intelligence Newsletter No. 57,” issued by HQ British Troops in Palestine for the period 6 Dec.-18 Dec. 1947, WO 275/64, p. 2; Cunningham to Creech Jones, Feb. 24, 1948, “Cunningham Papers,” VI/1/80; Kirkbride to Bevin, Dec. 23, 1947, FO 371/61583; Musa Alami, “The Lesson of Palestine,” Middle East Journal, Oct. 1949, p. 385.
 John Laffin, The PLO Connections (London: Corgi Books, 1983), p. 127.
 Damascus Radio, Mar. 8, 1974.
 Palestinians leaders went out of their way to reassure their constituents that this was merely a tactical ploy aimed at enhancing the PLO’s international standing and, as a result, its ability to achieve the ultimate goal of Israel’s destruction: “We vowed to liberate Palestine before 1967,” stated Abu Iyad, Yasser Arafat’s second in command. “We will restore Palestine step by step and not in one fell swoop, just as the Jews had done.” He reiterated this pledge a few days later: “The establishment of a Palestinian state on any part of Palestine is but a step toward the [liberation of the] whole of Palestine.” Al-Anba (Kuwait), Dec. 5, 13, 1988.
 Davar (Tel Aviv), Nov. 12, 1987; Hadashot (Tel Aviv), Nov. 13, 15, 1987.
 International Herald Tribune (Paris), Nov. 27, Dec. 5, 1984.
 For further discussion of this issue, see Efraim Karsh and Inari Rautsi, Saddam Hussein: A Political Biography (New York: Grove, 2003; rev. and updated ed.); Lawrence Freedman and Efraim Karsh, The Gulf Conflict 1990-1991: Diplomacy and War in the New World Order (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993).
 The New York Times, Mar. 16, 1991; “A New Beginning,” US News & World Report, Sept. 13, 1993.
 “194 (III). Palestine – Progress Report of the United Nations Mediator,” U.N. General Assembly, New York, Dec. 11, 1948, art. 11; “393 (v) – Assistance to Palestine Refugees,” idem, Dec. 2, 1950, art. 4; “Special report of the Director and Advisory Commission of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East,” idem, Nov. 29, 1951, A/1905/Add. 1, p. 4. For Arab rejection of res. 194, see “Arab Broadcasts: Daily Summary,” Israeli Foreign Office, Middle Eastern Dept., no. 36, Sept. 12-13, 1948; Hagana Archive (Tel Aviv), HA 105/88, p. 153; “Arabs Firm on Refugees,” The New York Times, Sept. 9, 1948; British Middle East Office (Cairo) to Foreign Office, Sept. 11, 1948, FO 371/68341; Davar, Aug. 8, 1948; al-Masri (Cairo), Oct. 11, 1948, quoted in “Refugee Repatriation—A Danger to Israel’s security,” Israeli Foreign Ministry, Research Dept., Sept. 4, 1951, FM 2564/1.
 “Where We Work – Lebanon,” UNRWA, New York, accessed Dec. 8, 2013; “Exiled and Suffering: Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon,” Amnesty International, London, Oct. 2007, pp. 2, 10; Julie Peteet, “From Refugees to Minority: Palestinians in Post-War Lebanon,” Middle East Report, July-Sept. 1996, p. 29.
 Lena El-Malak, “Betrayed and Forgotten: Palestinians Refugees in Lebanon,” Yearbook of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law, vol. 9, 2002-03, pp. 136-7; Souheil al-Natour, “The Legal Status of Palestinians in Lebanon,” Journal of Refugee Studies, no. 3, 1997, pp. 360-77.
 “Palestinians in Lebanon working under precarious conditions,” International Labor Organization, Geneva, Nov. 20, 2012; World Report 2010: Lebanon, World Report 2011: Lebanon, World Report 2013: Lebanon, Human Rights Watch, New York; “Exiled and Suffering,” Amnesty International, London, pp. 18-22.
 See, for example, “Recommendations by the Committee of Arab Experts in Reply to the Proposals by the U.N. Secretary-General Regarding the Continuation of U.N. Assistance to the Palestine Refugee” (Sofar, Leb.), Aug. 17, 1959, in Muhammad Khalil, The Arab States and the Arab League: A Documentary Record (Beirut: Khayat, 1962), vol. 2, pp. 654-5; Abbas Shiblak, “Residency Status and Civil Rights of Palestinian Refugees in Arab Countries,” Journal of Palestine Studies, Spring 1996, pp. 36-45.
 P.K. Abdul Gharfour, “A Million Expatriates to Benefit from New Citizenship Law,” Arab News (Riyadh), Oct. 21, 2004.
 Moshe Efrat, “Haplitim Hapalestinaim 1949-74: Mehkar Kalkali Vehevrati” (Tel Aviv: Tel Aviv University, Horowitz Center for the Study of Developing Countries, Sept. 1976), pp. 22-3; Don Peretz, Palestinian Refugees and the Middle East Peace Process (Washington, D.C.: United States Institute of Peace Press, 1993), pp. 49-50; Mudar Zahran, “Jordan Is Palestinian,” Middle East Quarterly, Winter 2012, pp. 3-12.
 “Where We Work: Jordan,” UNRWA. Figures as of Jan. 1, 2012.
 “World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples – Jordan: Palestinians, 2008,” Minority Rights Group International, London, accessed Feb. 3, 2014.
 Laurie A. Brand, “Palestinians and Jordanians: A Crisis of Identity,” Journal of Palestine Studies, Summer 1995, pp. 46-61; “Stateless Again: Palestinian-Origin Jordanians Deprived of Their Nationality,” Human Rights Watch, New York, Feb. 1, 2010; “Jordan: Stop Withdrawing Nationality from Palestinian-Origin Citizens,” Human Rights Watch, Feb. 1, 2010.
 U.S. Ambassador to Jordan David Hale, “Confidential Memo on the Debate in Jordan Concerning the Palestinian Right of Return, Amman, Feb. 5, 2008,” Journal of Palestine Studies, Winter 2012, pp. 220, 222.
 Said Aburish, Arafat: From Defender to Dictator (London: Bloomsbury, 1998), p. 114.
 Al-Majallah (London), Nov. 26, 1983.
 “Exiled and suffering,” Amnesty International, London, pp. 5-6.
 Ramzy Baroud, “Starving to Death in Syria,” al-Ahram (Cairo), Jan. 9-15, 2014; The Jerusalem Post, Dec. 19, 2013; Haaretz (Tel Aviv), Jan. 2, 2014; The Guardian (London), Dec. 12, 2012.
 “From Badil Refugee Survey 2008-2009: Secondary Forced Displacement in Host Countries – An Overview,” BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, Bethlehem, Summer-Autumn 2010.
 Al-Musawwar (Cairo), Nov. 15, 1991.
 “Nowhere to Go: The Tragedy of the Remaining Palestinian Families in Kuwait,” Human Rights Watch, Middle East Watch, Oct. 23, 1991, reprinted in The Palestine Yearbook of International Law, vol. 6, 1990-91, pp. 99-102; Steven J. Rosen, “Kuwait Expels Thousands of Palestinians,” Middle East Quarterly, Fall 2012, pp. 75-83; Ann M. Lesch, “Palestinians in Kuwait,” Journal of Palestine Studies, Summer 1991, pp. 47-53.
 The Baltimore Sun, Sept. 14, 1995; The New York Times, Oct. 5, 1995.
 Abbas Shiblak, “A Time of Hardship and Agony: Palestinian Refugees in Libya,” Palestine-Israel Journal, no. 4, 1995; “The Palestinian Crisis in Libya, 1994-1996 (Interview with Professor Bassem Sirhan),” Forced Secondary Displacement: Palestinian Refugees in the Gaza Strip, Iraq, Jordan, and Libya, BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, Bethlehem, Winter 2010.
 “Syria: Give Refuge to Palestinians Fleeing Threats in Iraq,” Human Rights Watch, Feb. 2, 2007.
 “Nowhere to Flee: The Perilous Situation of Palestinians in Iraq,” Human Rights Watch, New York, Sept. 2006; “Syria: Give Refuge to Palestinians Fleeing Threats in Iraq,” idem, Feb. 2, 2007; “Lebanon: Palestinians Fleeing Syria Denied Entry,” idem, Aug. 8, 2013.
 Andrew Gowers and Tony Walker, Arafat: The Biography (London: Virgin, 1994), pp. 186, 200.
 Robert Fisk, Pity the Nation: Lebanon at War (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992), pp. 86, 102.
 Aburish, Arafat, p. 151.
Muslim Brotherhood Holds Sway Over Syrian Opposition
March 21, 2013
Ghassan Hitto, a naturalized US citizen from Damascus, was selected on Monday, March 18, by members of the opposition Syrian National Coalition to become the interim prime minister. Little known among Syrians, his appointment is by far the clearest indication of the Muslim Brotherhood’s monopoly over the opposition’s political and military bodies. At least nine figures suspended their membership in the National Coalition in protest, including the coalition’s spokesman, Walid Buni, and Vice President Suhair Attasi, who then retracted her suspension a day later.
Hitto is not known to be a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, but he is ideologically close to it. A Syrian close to Hitto told me that he is “100% supported and trusted by the Brotherhood.” His brother is a member who was jailed for many years, his acquaintance said, which is why Hitto fled Syria. The source located Hitto in terms of independence somewhere between Moaz al-Khatib, the coalition’s president who proved to be independent, and the Brotherhood. Hitto is one of very few opposition figures who were involved in groundwork inside Syria after the uprising, distributing aid to people in various areas. He is also well-spoken in both Arabic and English. But his appointment appears to be based on a key credential: his consistent rejection of dialogue with the regime, a policy advocated by the Muslim Brotherhood and its allies Qatar and Turkey.
There had been deep disagreements among the opposition about the formation of an interim government. Khatib had opposed it, saying the government would deepen divisions among forces on the ground. In a letter he sent to the coalition members, he wrote: “If members of the coalition cannot agree on one person to represent them, how can they expect that person to represent all Syrians?” Instead, Khatib said that an executive authority would be a better option for the time being, as countries can grant that authority access to resources and even embassies. The Arab League, in its latest meeting on March 7, asked the coalition to form an executive authority to allow it legally to take Syria’s seat.
Disagreements involving the interim government are particularly worrying because an interim government, unlike previous entities that are supposed to represent the opposition outside the country, has to represent and organize the forces on the ground. Its ability to work with the various forces will hinge on its representativeness and legitimacy. It remains to be seen whether this is possible, and whether its cabinet will be inclusive.
The Brotherhood’s first choice for a prime minister was Osama Kadi, an Islamist based in Canada. Kadi’s appointment was due to be announced in February, but the coalition delayed the government’s formation due to disagreements. Last week, Qatar and Turkey pushed for selecting an interim prime minister. Out of the 63 coalition executives, 45 attended the voting session and 35 voted for Hitto. Before the sham voting process started, Khatib and several other members stormed out of the room in Istanbul, but Turkish officials convinced Khatib to return later and endorse Hitto’s appointment. Qatar reiterated the same promises offered to the Syrian opposition before the formation of the National Coalition, including a seat in the Arab League and increased aid.
According to sources in the Syrian opposition, Qatar asked Mustafa Sabbagh, the coalition’s secretary-general, to ensure the appointment of Hitto. Mustafa Sabbagh, a businessman from Latakia working in Saudi Arabia, was appointed the coalition’s sectary-general in November after he showed up in Doha with 16 people claiming to represent provisional councils across the country. As it turned out, almost all the 16 people were either Sabbagh’s employees in Saudi Arabia or his relatives, some of whom had not visited Syria for decades. Sabbagh and the 16 coalition members met with the Brotherhood and told them to drop Kadi and vote for Hitto. Although the coalition had a secretary-general, there was neither a general secretariat nor any clear function for the post. Shortly after the coalition was formed, Sabbagh tried to assume executive powers — unsuccessfully, due to opposition from several prominent members.
The appointment has been a significant victory for the Brotherhood and its allies, restoring its control over the opposition after a period in which talks of dialogue threatened the group’s vision for regime change in Syria. The Brotherhood, along with Qatar and Turkey, hopes for a complete downfall of the regime to steer the transitional period and ensure its enduring control over the state. As US academic and Syria expert Joshua Landis pointed out, the move was partly aimed to kill Khatib’s initiative of dialogue with the regime.
“To this end, Hitto’s first words were that he would not negotiate with the Assad regime,” Landis wrote on his website, Syria Comment. This argument is further bolstered by the fact that neither Saudi Arabia, Jordan nor other key (Western) players were informed of Hitto’s appointment, according to a senior diplomat familiar with the process.
Misrepresentation has been one of the Brotherhood’s tactics to ensure supremacy within the opposition’s political and military bodies. Suhair Attasi said she suspended her membership in the Coalition because of the “non-institutional mindset that allows a group of people to control the Coalition considering the rest as subjects”. It is unclear what changed for her to retract her suspension.
But apart from concerns about the independence of the National Coalition, the episode bodes ill for the country’s future. The idea of an interim government has been debated within the opposition for three months, but the discussions had been limited to who would lead the government, rather than discussing the project and its mechanism for governing rebel-held areas. Also, forming a government is a card the opposition cannot afford to lose; such a government should have been kept as a means after the collapse the regime to bring the various forces together under a representative body. If the interim government fails in terms of credibility, and by design scuttles the slim prospects for a negotiated political solution, this will serve only to prolong the bloodshed.
Hassan Hassan is an editorial writer for The National newspaper in Abu Dhabi, UAE. He also writes for The Guardian, Foreign Policy and Carnegie Endowment, among other publications.
Barry Rubin on the Muslim Brotherhood
‘The Day of Judgment will not come about until Moslems fight Jews and kill them. Then, the Jews will hide behind rocks and trees, and the rocks and trees will cry out: ‘O Moslem, there is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him.’
The Charter of Allah: The Platform of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas)
“In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate You are the best community that has been raised up for mankind. Ye enjoin right conduct and forbid indecency; and ye believe in Allah. And if the People of the Scripture had believed, it had been better for them. Some of them are believers; but most of them are evil-doers. They will not harm you save a trifling hurt, and if they fight against you they will turn and flee. And afterward they will not be helped. Ignominy shall be their portion wheresoever they are found save [where they grasp] a rope from Allah and a rope from man. They have incurred anger from their Lord, and wretchedness is laid upon them. That is because they used to disbelieve the revelations of Allah, and slew the Prophets wrongfully. That is because they were rebellious and used to transgress.” Surat Al-Imran (III), verses 109-111 Israel will rise and will remain erect until Islam eliminates it as it had eliminated its predecessors. The Islamic World is burning. It is incumbent upon each one of us to pour some water, little as it may be, with a view of extinguishing as much of the fire as he can, without awaiting action by the others.
The Balfour Declaration, the Mandate for Palestine, and everything that has been based upon them, are deemed null and void. Claims of historical or religious ties of Jews with Palestine are incompatible with the facts of history and the true conception of what constitutes statehood. Judaism, being a religion, is not an independent nationality. Nor do Jews constitute a single nation with an identity of its own; they are citizens of the states to which they belong.
Zionism is a political movement organically associated with international imperialism and antagonistic to all action for liberation and to progressive movements in the world. It is racist and fanatic in its nature, aggressive, expansionist, and colonial in its aims, and fascist in its methods. Israel is the instrument of the Zionist movement, and geographical base for world imperialism placed strategically in the midst of the Arab homeland to combat the hopes of the Arab nation for liberation, unity, and progress. Israel is a constant source of threat vis-a-vis peace in the Middle East and the whole world. Since the liberation of Palestine will destroy the Zionist and imperialist presence and will contribute to the establishment of peace in the Middle East, the Palestinian people look for the support of all the progressive and peaceful forces and urge them all, irrespective of their affiliations and beliefs, to offer the Palestinian people all aid and support in their just struggle for the liberation of their homeland
Are Iran rocket experts helping militants in Gaza?
February 26, 2013
Israeli media quotes Palestinian and Israeli sources as saying that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard envoys have arrived in the Gaza Strip.
Expert rocket makers dispatched from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards have in recent days arrived in the Gaza Strip, senior Palestinian security sources have told the Israeli news outlet Walla! on Tuesday.
According to the report, the sources said that they are in Gaza to help Hamas and the Islamic Jihad develop long-range missiles. Israeli security and diplomatic sources have reportedly confirmed the Palestinian claims that there is an Iranian presence in Gaza, but did not elaborate. Walla! quoted the Israeli sources as saying that Iranian agents have previously visited the Gaza Strip as well. On Tuesday morning, a Grad rocket fired from Gaza slammed into a road south of Ashkelon, causing some damage but no injuries. The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades took responsibility for the attack, Palestinian news agency Ma’an reported. Ma’an said the rocket was fired in response to the “liquidation” of Arafat Jaradat, whose death Saturday in Israeli custody has sparked days of clashes in the West Bank between IDF troops and protesters. The Grad was the first missile fired from Gaza since the end of Operation Pillar of Defense in November, a week-long Israeli operation aimed at stemming daily rocket fire from Gaza on its southern communities. For the first time during the operation, Gazan militants fired rockets that reached as far as Tel Aviv.
February 18, 2013
Two years later, Nasrallah ordered another terror attack in the Argentinian capital – this time against the Jewish Center of Buenos Aires. His operatives killed 85 men and women, and injured more than 300 others. During this period, Hezbollah terrorists, under Nasrallah’s command, fired hundreds of rockets at towns in northern Israel.
On the morning of July 12, 2006, Hezbollah fired multiple barrages of rockets into northern Israel. At the same time, Hezbollah fighters crossed Israel’s northern border and attacked two IDF vehicles on a routine patrol. They killed three IDF soldiers in the initial attack. Two others — Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev — were wounded, captured and taken into Lebanon.
By the end of the fighting, Hezbollah had fired thousands of rockets into northern Israel. A total of 119 IDF soldiers and 43 Israeli civilians were killed during the war.
What have Nasrallah and Hezbollah been DOING since the 2006 war?
Nasrallah’s central mission since 2006 has been to rebuild Hezbollah’s weapons arsenal. Today, Hezbollah has 60,000 rockets, all aimed at Israel’s major cities. This is the largest weapons arsenal of any terror organization in the world today.
In July 2012, a Hezbollah suicide bomber boarded a tourist bus in Burgas, Bulgaria. He killed five Israelis who were in Bulgaria on vacation, as well as their Bulgarian bus driver. 32 other civilians were injured in the attack.
During his 21 years in power, Nasrallah has focused most of his energy on harming Israeli civilians in the name of “the resistance”. Today, even after Israel’s complete withdrawal from Lebanon, Nasrallah and his Hezbollah terror organization are an immediate threat to Israeli civilians both in Israel and around the globe.
The IDF will not tolerate any attempt to harm Israeli civilians, and will operate against anyone who uses terror against the State of Israel.
Egypt’s Morsi: “We Must Not Forget To Nurse Our Children And Grandchildren On Hatred Towards Zionists And Jews,” The “Descendants Of Apes and Pigs”
Morton A. Klein
January 18, 2013
The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has condemned the despicable, anti-Semitic bile of Egyptian president and former Muslim Brotherhood senior official, Mohamed Morsi, and called upon the Obama Administration for the cancellation of an imminent U.S. arms package for Egypt of 20 F-16 aircraft and 200 Abrams tanks. Nearly three years ago, Morsi said the following in a speech only recently unearthed, “Dear brothers, we must not forget to nurse our children and grandchildren on hatred towards those Zionists and Jews, and all those who support them. They must be nursed on hatred. The hatred must continue” (‘Egypt’s Morsi In 2010: Obama Insincere; We Must Nurse Our Children And Grandchildren On Hatred Of Jews Those Who Support Them,’ Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), Special Dispatch No. 5138, January 16, 2013).
Additionally, in 2010 Morsi television interview also was unearthed last week, Morsi referred to “these occupiers of the land of Palestine … these blood-suckers, who attack the Palestinians, these warmongers, the descendants of apes and pigs [standard language for describing Jews] …We should employ all forms of resistance against them. There should be military resistance within the land of Palestine against those criminal Zionists … None of the Arab or Muslim peoples and regimes should have dealings with them … They must not be given any opportunity, and must not stand on any Arab or Islamic land. They must be driven out of our countries … We must all realize that resistance is the only way to liberate the land of Palestine” (‘Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi In 2010: No To Negotiations With The Blood-Sucking, Warmongering ‘Descendants Of Apes And Pigs’; Calls To Boycott U.S. Products,’ MEMRI, Special Dispatch No. 5118, January 4, 2013).
President Morsi resigned from the Brotherhood upon being elected president in May 2011 but was previously the Brotherhood’s official candidate for president and a veteran leader within the organization. He served as a member of the Brotherhood’s Political Bureau since 1992, when the Bureau was first established, and also later the Muslim Brotherhood’s Guidance Bureau. Morsi is also a founding member of the Brotherhood’s Committee to Fight the Zionist Project and has called Israel ‘the Zionist entity.’ Last October, Morsi was shown in an Egyptian Channel One Television broadcast of a sermon by a Egyptian cleric, fervent in payer as as the cleric said, “Oh Allah, destroy the Jews and their supporters. Oh Allah, disperse them, rend them asunder. Oh Allah, demonstrate Your might and greatness upon them. Show us Your omnipotence, oh Lord.”
Yet it is to this Egyptian regime headed by Morsi, the Brotherhood’s presidential candidate, that the Obama Administration is intending to give the finest U.S. war planes and tanks. As the International Business Times puts it, “The transaction will cost U.S. taxpayers $213 million, as the jets are part of the annual $1 billion military aid package to Egypt” (Maya Shwayder, ‘US Going Ahead With Sale Of F-16s To Egypt, Despite Protests,’ International Business Times, January 15, 2013).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “President Morsi’s vile anti-Semitic statements expose him and his Muslim Brotherhood-backed regime for what they are – virulent Jew-haters promoting jihad, hatred and terrorism against an Israel they hope to destroy.
Palestinian Authority leaders and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad met at the sidelines of the Islamic summit in Cairo on Wednesday, Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.
PA President Mahmoud Abbas expressed gratitude to his Iranian counterpart for his support of the unilateral Palestinian statehood bid at the UN. The leaders also discussed the peace process, the PA’s financial crisis, and reconciliation with Hamas, according to WAFA.
The discussion was to be followed by a meeting between Fatah and Hamas officials in Cairo to discuss reconciliation agreements, Palestinian news agency Ma’an quoted a Fatah official as saying on Wednesday.
Yahya Rabah said that delegations from Fatah and Hamas will meet on Wednesday to discuss reconciliation and elections for the PLO’s Palestinian National Council. The meeting will take place on the sidelines of the Islamic summit in Cairo.
According to Ma’an, the Palestinian Central Elections Commission is to resume late February following a PLO meeting on Friday in Cairo to select members of a joint government.
The meeting in Cairo will also select the leadership of the PLO, Ma’an reported.
Historic Damascus synagogue looted and destroyed
JTA and Yoel Goldman
Times of Israel
April 1, 2013
Assad forces, rebels trade blame for destruction of country’s holiest Jewish site; ‘it’s the Syrian heritage regardless of religion,’ says official
The 2,000-year-old Jobar Synagogue in the Syrian capital of Damascus — the country’s holiest Jewish site — was looted and burned to the ground.
The Syrian army loyal to President Bashar Assad and rebel forces were blaming each other for the destruction of the historic synagogue, according to reports on Sunday.
The synagogue was said to be built on the site where the prophet Elijah concealed himself from persecution and anointed his successor, Elisha, as a prophet. It had been damaged earlier this month by mortars reportedly fired by Syrian government forces.
The rebels said the Syrian government looted the synagogue before burning it to the ground, Israel Radio reported Sunday.
The government said the rebels burned the synagogue and that so-called Zionist agents stole its historic religious items in an operation that had been planned for several weeks, the Arabic Al-Manar Television reported, citing the Arabic Syria Truth website.
The news came as Jews around the world marked the final days of Passover, the festival of freedom.
The video, uploaded by the Syrian opposition’s military council, appeared to show that portions of the building and roof were blown off, with debris seen on the ground in front of the synagogue.
An inscription in English at the synagogue reads, “Shrine and synagogue of prophet Eliahou Hanabi since 720 B.C.,” although the actual date of founding is disputed. One of the earliest mentions of the synagogue is in the Talmud, which states that Rabbi Rafram bar Pappa prayed there.
Another inscription, in Arabic, said it was the tomb of Al-Khizr, held in some Islamic traditions to be a prophet who traveled with Moses.
The synagogue served a large Jewish community in the medieval period, but by the mid-1800s only one Jewish family lived in the area. Still, Jews came from across the city to pray there, and there was a tradition of leaving the sick in the building in the belief that Elijah’s spirit might heal them.
On Monday, people from both sides of the conflict said they were sad to see the site ruined.
“It’s the heritage of the homeland regardless of religion, whether it’s Jewish, Muslim or Christian,” Maamoun Abdul-Karim, head of the Antiquities and Museums Department of the Syrian Culture Ministry, told The Associated Press. “It’s the Syrian mosaic and the heritage of the people.”
Abdul-Karim said some objects from the synagogue had been stolen last year, but that officials hadn’t been able to visit the building in about four months because rebels control the area.
After establishing footholds in a number of Damascus suburbs last year, rebel fighters sought to push into Damascus through Jobar, where they now clash daily with government troops.
An anti-government activist in Jobar reached via Skype on Monday said the synagogue had been looted continuously during recent months and was damaged by government shelling meant to push rebels from the area.
He said he visited the facility in early March and found the main sanctuary undamaged.
“I don’t know exactly what was there originally, but we know there were lots of old books and artifacts that are not there anymore,” said the activist, who goes by the name Abu Hassaan al-Damishqi.
He said the site had been looted by government soldiers or thieves taking advantage of a lack of security.
“This is the history of the city, and it doesn’t matter if you are a Muslim or not,” he said. “This is the history of our country, so we all want to protect it.”
Syria’s Jewish community faced rampant discrimination after the establishment of Israel. With Jewish property rights severely limited, the synagogue was taken over and converted to a school for Palestinian refugees.
Only some 20 Jews are believed to live in Syria today, all of them in the capital.
In early 2011, Assad announced plans to rebuild about a dozen synagogue across Syria, including in Damascus — a move that was regarded in part as an effort to gain some support from American Jewry.
The nearly two-year-old civil war in Syria has caused damage to six World Heritage sites, according to Al Arabiya. UNESCO called for the protection of the country’s cultural heritage sites last March, expressing “grave concern” at the time.
The UN estimates that 70,000 people have died in the fighting between Assad regime forces and Syrian rebels.
Associated Press contributed to this report.
New histories reveal that the Nazi Regime deliberately insinuated knowledge of the Final Solution, devilishly making Germans complicit in the crime and binding them, with guilt and dread, to their leaders.
Copyright © 2013 by The Atlantic Monthly Group. All Rights Reserved.
By Benjamin Schwarz
Railway timetable clerks, engine drivers and train drivers and other staff on stations and in goods yards could all identify the trains and knew where they were going. Policemen rounding up the Jews or dealing with their files or their property knew as well. Housing officials who reassigned the Jews’ dwellings to Germans, administrators who dealt with the Jews’ property—the list was almost endless … The mass murder of the Jews thus became a kind of open secret in Germany from the end of 1942 at the very latest.
Hard information, not just vague rumor, was being brought back to the Reich and was available. Its extent was considerable, the information itself often impressive in its detail. Only those anxious to shut their ears … could have been utterly ignorant. And only the willfully ignorant could have imagined a drastically different fate for the Jews than was actually in store for them.
Syrian TV and Organ Transplant Experts:
Israel Reminiscent of Shylock, Engages in Organ Trafficking in Haiti and Worldwide
The War Rages, The White House Ducks, Death Abounds
Posted By Michael Ledeen On January 15, 2013 @ 6:35 pm
You know all this, of course, because you’ve been reading these blogs all along. But as my mother used to tell me with her charming smile and melodious voice, repetition is the basis of all learning.
It is no doubt true, as so many wonks intone over and over, that we are targeted by lots of “non-state actors.” But those “actors,” gangs like al Qaeda, Hezbolah, Islamic Jihad, and Jammaah this-or-that, are state-supported.
My old boss, Alexander Haig, used to growl, “we have to go to the source,” by which he meant the Soviet Union. And whenever he said it, there were pious cries of “but NO!” from the usual quarters, such as Foggy Bottom and Langley-on-the-Potomac. They insisted that we did not “know” that the Kremlin was in any way “behind” terrorist groups, and when it was pointed out that the PLO actually trained IN the Soviet Union, they responded by denying it was a terrorist organization. They redefined it as a “national liberation front.”
Turns out Haig was right; we know the KGB and GRU were actively supporting groups including Baader-Meinhof in West Germany, and Red Brigades in Italy, as well as Arafat’s killers. We know it from their own archives, their own emigres, their own defectors (take PJ Media’s own Ion Mihai Pacepa, for example).
Further confirmation from the real world: When the Soviet Union imploded, terrorism took a hit. It revived when the Islamic Republic of Iran, working with the reconstituted Russian intelligence services, became the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism, and waged war against us.
By now, everybody knows about Iran’s activities in the Middle East and South Asia, from its proxies (Hezbollah, the small army around Mookie al Sadr in Iraq, Islamic Jihad, al Qaeda, Taliban) to the Quds Force killers at work in Syria and Lebanon. We also know about Iranian activities in Latin America, from the massacres in Argentina in the 1990s, to the remarkable spread of Iranian agents, including large numbers from Hezbollah, in recent years, starting in Venezuela. The Defense Department recently published a helpful study of this worrisome phenomenon. And we are learning about Iranian activities in Africa:
● Iranian weapons have been pouring into Kenya, and are being used by various murderous militias;
● Iranian ammunition is all over the place, from the Ivory Coast to Nigeria.
● Our ambassador in Yemen stood up the other day and announced that Iran is doing its best to foment civil war in that country.
And I haven’t even mentioned Mali, where thousands of French soldiers are fighting, and we are providing logistics. If things go badly, which can always happen, American fighters may join in.
It’s what happens when you lead with your behind, which is Obama’s strategery of choice. Try this: “AQIM’s creation of a haven in northern Mali was made possible in part by the fall of Libya’s dictator, Moammar Ghadafi, which unleashed a flow of weapons and fighters from Libya into Mali.”
Just to round out the picture, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals recently put some forgotten facts on the record, concerning Iran’s relationship to the Taliban on the eve of our invasion following 9/11:
Khairkhwa admits that he met with senior Iranian officials several times while serving as Herat’s governor. He does not deny that at one such meeting in January 2000, the participants discussed how to protect Afghanistan from United States intervention. Relying in part on these admissions, the district court found that Khairkhwa participated in another high-level meeting with Iranian officials in early October 2001. Id. at 37–38. The Iranian delegation included the deputy commander of the Iranian Foreign Intelligence Service and the head of the Afghan Department of the Iranian Foreign Intelligence Service. Id. at 37. In anticipation of the U.S.-led military operation, the Iranian officials offered military support for the Taliban’s defense, including anti-aircraft missiles, other unspecified equipment, and free passage for “Arabs” traveling between Iran and Afghanistan. Id. at 37–38. The Taliban delegation also included Abdul Manan Niazi, the governor of Kabul and commander of the Taliban forces who committed atrocities at Mazar-e-Sharif in August 1998. Id. at 37.
The court firmly denied an appeal by Mr. Khairkhwa and some of his comrades to be released from Guantanamo. And we can all be grateful to Judge Randolph for so carefully pointing out that Iranian support for our enemies goes back quite a ways, indeed to a moment when the conventional wisdom among our most celebrated savants insisted that the Islamic Republic was certainly no friend of Al Qaeda, let alone the Taliban.
As with the Soviet-supported terrorists of an earlier generation, there is enormous reluctance to acknowledge the role of evil regimes. Our policy makers, journalists, and intelligence experts want to consider the terrorists separately, and treat them as products of local circumstances.
The reason is the same today as it was back then: we don’t want to tackle the central issue (the USSR then, the Islamic Republic nowadays). Once again, “realists” and leftists tell us that we must find a way to “resolve our differences” peacefully, because the only alternative is…war.
But the war is on, and there is a better way: just as we subverted the evil empire by supporting the internal opposition, so the same option exists in Iran, where the overwhelming majority of citizens have cried out for American (non-military) assistance, only to be rebuffed in 2003 by Bush and Powell, and in 2009 and thereafter by Obama and Hillary.
Once again, we should go to the source. Wouldn’t you love to have the archives of the Iranian Intelligence Ministry and the Revolutionary Guards? A friendly pro-Western government in Tehran would be pleased to share them with us.
And the global war would suddenly get a lot easier.
Maybe some senator has the gravitas to ask Messrs Kerry, Hagel, and Brennan about these matters.