Old-fashioned anti-Semitism for progressive thinkers

There is one community in the world, which according to the British newspaper the Independent, can be reasonably called a child murdering community.

By Ben Dror Yemini for Ynet News – Criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitic. We have said it a thousand times, and we should say it a thousand times more. But to understand the difference between legitimate criticism and anti-Semitism, one must go back a few to an article, one of many, published against Israel. It was not criticism of Israel. It was criticism of a “child murdering community”. It was not published in a journal of the Nazi Party in Bavaria. These obscene words were written in the Independent newspaper in Britain. A newspaper for enlightened people, for progressive thinkers.

How exactly did Israel become a “child murdering community “? Well, according to the most extreme version, and the most manipulative, which is based on sources operating under the auspices of Hamas, about 1,800 people were killed during Operation Protective Edge. Let us suppose that this is not a lie. Of that number, 24 percent, it is claimed, were under 18. This is a far higher proportion than the proportion of minors in the actual population, but let’s say that this is true as well. Let’s go with the Hamas data. And according to calculations published in The New York Times, 16 percent of those killed in Gaza were aged below 15.

How did Britain conduct itself in its last major conflict? Well, British troops were involved in the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The British medical journal “The Lancet”, which is so acceptable to the British progressive forces, claim that this war, not an occupation that lasted for many years, caused 100,000 deaths. And, according to the same publication, 46 percent of that number were under 15. That is 46,000 children. Not youths, children.

In other words, there was a 46-percent mortality rate for children by the British, 16 percent by Israel. In the case of the UK, which is part of NATO, we can go a little further back, and remember what happened in the bombing of Belgrade in 1999 during the war in Kosovo (Operation Allied Force). The results are the same. Approximately 500 soldiers were killed, and 1,200-1,500 non-combatants, hundreds of them children.

And while Belgrade complained of severe harm to innocent people and children, the late Robin Cook, then foreign secretary responded: “How dare they now produce crocodile tears for people killed in the conflict for which they themselves are responsible.”

Neither the Iraqi nor Serbian armies used children as human shields, nor did they officially announce that they were using children as human shields, as did Hamas. They also did not issue an instruction manual demanding that fighters use concentrations of civilians, as did Hamas. In Baghdad, Basra and Belgrade did not fire rockets at London and Manchester from its schools, as did Hamas. Nevertheless, the British, along with the Americans, caused a far higher number of child deaths, both in relative and absolute terms.

But the Independent newspaper has determined that there is one community in the world that it is permissible to brand as a “child murdering community”. This is not the first time that the phrase is has been bandied about in Europe. The tune is all too familiar. Criticism of Israel, it is worth saying again, is not anti-Semitism. But this progressive British newspaper has clearly shown that sometimes, just sometimes, it is not a criticism, or even new anti-Semitism. Sometimes, it is the old anti-Semitism in all its glory.

Click here for original source.

One in six French people say they support ISIS

Vox (Aug 26) – Two polls released this week both ask a question that you would hope wouldn’t need asking: how many people support the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)? Unfortunately, in all four countries surveyed, the answer is greater than zero, and by a lot.

Here is a chart of the results of the polls. The first, by ICM Research, asked people in Germany, France, and the UK whether they had a favorable or unfavorable view of ISIS. The second, by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion, asked Gazans whether they support or oppose ISIS. Here are the results.

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First, a caveat: while the polls of Gazans and Europeans are similar, they are not totally identical. They were conducted by different polling agencies using different methods, and the different question could skew responses, as “support” is stronger than “favor.” So keep that in mind when comparing the Gaza results to the others, although it is hard to ignore that ISIS could have a higher approval rating in France than in Gaza.

In any case, the big, scary, surprising, number here is France: 16 percent of those surveyed say they support ISIS. That’s an awful lot. And that number gets even larger as the demographics get younger, as shown in this by-age breakdown published by Russia Today (the poll was commissioned by Russian state media, almost certainly to tar and/or troll Western countries, but that doesn’t make the findings any less disturbing):

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This is alarming, in part because a growing number of Europeans, often from predominantly Muslim immigrant communities, are not just expressing their support for ISIS in polls: they are traveling to Syria and Iraq to join up. The ISIS fighter who killed American journalist James Foley on video last week spoke with a strong London accent. European governments are rightly worried about the implications of this for their own national security.

Click here for full article.

Hamas Manual Calls for Hiding Bombs in Civilian Homes

banner3During Operation Protective Edge, IDF soldiers captured a Hamas manual that recommends storing explosives in Gaza’s civilian homes and calls for bringing the battle into populated areas. 

IDF blog (Aug 25) — The IDF has captured a military manual published by the Engineering Corps of Hamas’ military wing, the Al Qassam Brigades.

The explosives manual recommends teaching civilians how to build and store bombs in their homes. According to the manual, the goal is “to transfer combat from open areas to built-up urban areas, which serves the ‘resistance’ [i.e. Hamas] and fighters of Islamic Jihad.”

A picture of the captured explosives manual, which explains how to put bombs in civilian homes.

A picture of the captured explosives manual, which explains how to put bombs in civilian homes.

The manual also states that “it is easier for Jihad fighters to operate inside buildings and to take advantage of this in order to evade reconnaissance planes used to attack and gather intelligence. Additionally, [operating from populated areas] helps strengthen the element of surprise.”

“You Must Use Residents”

In an especially incriminating section entitled “Factors for Successfully Hiding Weapons in Homes,” the manual explains how civilians can be used to hide explosives:

“(1) The activity of hiding weapons in homes needs to be done with secrecy and should not have a military character.

(2) Placing equipment in residential areas needs to be done with household items.

(3) You must use residents of the area in order place the equipment inside.”

Explosives in a Gazan home placed next to a child’s bed.

Explosives in a Gazan home placed next to a child’s bed.

After explaining the advantages of using civilian areas, the manual provides advice for bomb makers in a portion entitled “Hiding and Camouflage of Explosives,” which opens by saying that “the goal is to blend in with the environment, whether in natural areas or in civilian surroundings.”

The manual suggests two techniques for camouflage:

“(1) It’s important to use camouflage material that won’t cause a failure in the explosion, such as adding sand, cement or asphalt to the body of the explosive.

(2) If one must use materials like sand or cement, he should create a 60 cm buffer using foam or sponge material.”

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The Manual’s significance

This manual, like the captured Hamas Urban Warfare Manual, exposes Hamas’ illegal and murderous policy of using civilians during battle. Videos and photos of booby-trapped homes, which the IDF published during Operation Protective Edge, serves as further evidence of these tactics.

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Hamas’ use of its civilians is a serious war crime, and the terrorist organization is responsible for the harm caused to Gaza’s residents.

Click here for original source.

Nearly all of ISIS’s 25 deputy leaders in Iraq and Syria have been in US custody

A look at Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, a militant group that now rivals Al Qaeda in power and popularity. Video Credit

A look at Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, a militant group that now rivals Al Qaeda in power and popularity.

The New York Times (Aug 28) — As fighters for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria continue to seize territory, the group has quietly built an effective management structure of mostly middle-aged Iraqis overseeing departments of finance, arms, local governance, military operations and recruitment.

At the top the organization is the self-declared leader of all Muslims, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, a radical chief executive officer of sorts, who handpicked many of his deputies from among the men he met while a prisoner in American custody at the Camp Bucca detention center a decade ago.

He had a preference for military men, and so his leadership team includes many officers from Saddam Hussein’s long-disbanded army.

They include former Iraqi officers like Fadel al-Hayali, the top deputy for Iraq, who once served Mr. Hussein as a lieutenant colonel, and Adnan al-Sweidawi, a former lieutenant colonel who now heads the group’s military council.

The pedigree of its leadership, outlined by an Iraqi who has seen documents seized by the Iraqi military, as well as by American intelligence officials, helps explain its battlefield successes: Its leaders augmented traditional military skill with terrorist techniques refined through years of fighting American troops, while also having deep local knowledge and contacts. ISIS is in effect a hybrid of terrorists and an army.

According to a map of the group developed by Mr. Alhashimi, the Iraqi expert, Mr. Baghdadi has 25 deputies across Iraq and Syria. About one-third were military officers during Mr. Hussein’s rule, and nearly all were imprisoned by American forces.

Click here for full article.

Al Qaeda magazine hints of looming attack; urges bombing of Vegas, military targets

Fox News (Aug 28) – A new English-language Al Qaeda magazine features a how-to article on making car bombs and suggests terror targets in the United States, including casinos in Las Vegas, oil tankers and military colleges, and implies that an attack is imminent.

The online publication, called “Palestine-Betrayal of the Guilty Conscience Al-Malahem” and put out by the media arm of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, calls for Muslims around the world to follow “the recipe” provided to set off car bombs in crowded venues. It includes a timeline of “selected jihadi operations” that the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), which first flagged the slickly-produced latest edition of the terror publication, finds chilling.

“The timeline concludes with the date 201?’ and blank spaces and question marks for the photo and information of the next attack — implying that it is coming soon.” said MEMRI Executive Director Steve Stalinsky.

There is a suggested list of targets for lone-wolf, or individually executed, terror attacks, including New York’s Times Square, casinos and night clubs in Las Vegas, oil tankers and trains, the Georgia Military College, the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, and General Atomics defense contractor in San Diego.

Click here for full article.

An Insider’s Guide to the Most Important Story on Earth

A former AP correspondent explains how and why reporters get Israel so wrong, and why it matters.

By Matti Friedman for Tablet August 26, 2014 

friedman620The Israel Story

[Following are excerpts – the full article can be found here]

The lasting importance of this summer’s war, I believe, doesn’t lie in the war itself. It lies instead in the way the war has been described and responded to abroad, and the way this has laid bare the resurgence of an old, twisted pattern of thought and its migration from the margins to the mainstream of Western discourse—namely, a hostile obsession with Jews. The key to understanding this resurgence is to be found among the educated and respectable people who populate the international news industry.

A reporter working in the international press corps here understands quickly that what is important in the Israel-Palestinian story is Israel. If you follow mainstream coverage, you will find nearly no real analysis of Palestinian society or ideologies, profiles of armed Palestinian groups, or investigation of Palestinian government. Palestinians are not taken seriously as agents of their own fate. The West has decided that Palestinians should want a state alongside Israel, so that opinion is attributed to them as fact, though anyone who has spent time with actual Palestinians understands that things are more complicated.

***

It is accepted that the conflict is “Israeli-Palestinian,” meaning that it is a conflict taking place on land that Israel controls in which Jews are a majority and Arabs a minority. The conflict is more accurately described as “Israel-Arab,” or “Jewish-Arab”—that is, a conflict between the 6 million Jews of Israel and 300 million Arabs in surrounding countries (or, more broadly, 1 billion Muslims worldwide). This is the conflict that has been playing out in different forms for a century, before Israel existed, before Israel captured the Palestinian territories of Gaza and the West Bank, and before the term “Palestinian” was in use.

The “Israeli-Palestinian” framing allows the Jews, a tiny minority in the Middle East, to be depicted as the stronger party. It also includes the implicit assumption that if the Palestinian problem is somehow solved the conflict will be over, though no informed person today believes this to be true…

Hamas is the local representative of radical Islam and is openly dedicated to the eradication of the Jewish minority enclave in Israel, just as Hezbollah is the dominant representative of radical Islam in Lebanon, the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and so forth.

Hamas is not, as it freely admits, party to the effort to create a Palestinian state alongside Israel. It has different goals about which it is quite open and that are similar to those of the groups listed above.

***

Any veteran of the press corps here knows that Hamas intimidation of reporters is real. The fact is that Hamas intimidation is largely beside the point because the actions of Palestinians are beside the point: Most reporters in Gaza believe their job is to document violence directed by Israel at Palestinian civilians.

Many of the people deciding what you will read and see from here view their role not as explanatory but as political. Coverage is a weapon to be placed at the disposal of the side they like.

***

When journalists cover the Jews’ war as more worthy of attention than any other, when they portray the Jews of Israel as the party obviously in the wrong, when they omit all possible justifications for the Jews’ actions and obscure the true face of their enemies, international press coverage has become a morality play starring a familiar villain.

***

Understanding what happened in Gaza this summer means understanding Hezbollah in Lebanon, the rise of the Sunni jihadis in Syria and Iraq, and the long tentacles of Iran. It requires figuring out why countries like Egypt and Saudi Arabia now see themselves as closer to Israel than to Hamas. Above all, it requires us to understand what is clear to nearly everyone in the Middle East: The ascendant force in our part of the world is an empowered strain of Islam that assumes different and sometimes conflicting forms, and that is willing to employ extreme violence in a quest to unite the region under its control and confront the West.

Click here for full article.

ISIS and Hamas: The Double Standard

isis-terroristsHuffington Post (Aug 20) by Arsen Ostrovsky, an international human rights lawyer – Hamas and ISIS are two sides of the same Islamic terror coin, yet while the West has rightfully united in condemnation and action against ISIS, it has applied a different standard towards Israel, who has been faced with the incessant terror of Hamas.

A chorus of world leaders, from President Obama, the UN Secretary General and Pope Francis — have all been rightfully outraged by the barbaric carnage we are witnessing from ISIS in Iraq.

Even other arch-terrorists, like Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, have called ISIS “a monster”, while Osama Bin Laden, before he was killed, called for al-Qaeda to sever all ties with ISIS due to the group’s “extreme brutality,” saying that it could “harm al-Qaeda’s reputation.”

They have sought to annihilate entire communities of minorities in Iraq, including the ancient Yazidis and Christians. Their tactics and methods have shocked all people with a shred of decency to the very core, including now their gruesome murder and public beheading of American journalist James Foley.

Today, ISIS makes Hezbollah and al Qaeda look like Mother Theresa.

From the use of death squads, beheadings, rape and crucifixions, no one has been spared, especially not women and children. Simply put, their evil and depravity knows no rational bounds.

Calling ISIS a “cancer”, President Obama, with the support of other world leaders, instructed U.S. forces to conduct a military operation in order to prevent the “genocide” of the Yazidis and other minorities in Iraq, saying “the United States of America cannot turn a blind eye.”

However, in stark contrast, many of these same world leaders effectively question Israel’s right to self-defense against Hamas, with President Obama having called for Israel to institute an “immediate and unconditional” cease fire, while at the same time halting weapons sales to Israel, America’s key ally in the region, as it faces a renewed bombardment of rockets from Hamas.

So, one begs to ask the question — what is the difference between Hamas and ISIS?

Both organizations come from the same radical, murderous Islamic roots with a pervasive indifference to human life, freedom and democracy.

Hamas is essentially Israel’s ISIS — but funded by Iran, assembled on the border of the Jewish state and with genocidal intentions of destroying Israel and killing all Jews around the world.

One need only read Hamas’ own Charter and observe their methods, including using their own children as human shields, while openly professing to Israel “We desire death as you desire life,” to see they are in word and deed made of the same terrorist cloth as ISIS.

Just a few weeks ago, Hamas reiterated again, “Our doctrine in fighting you [the Jews] is that we will totally exterminate you. We will not leave a single one of you alive.”

Yet, the double standards that exist between how the West has (rightfully so) approached the terrorist ISIS and Hamas-Israel conflict, is breathtaking.

The UN Human Rights Council for example has recently ordered another one-sided ‘Fact Finding Mission’ against Israel. It would be better served by dropping this anti-Israel witch-hunt and instead focusing on what are the most egregious human rights violations in this region, such as the attempted genocide of Yazidis by ISIS. But don’t hold your breath.

Last week, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution condemning ISIS for “gross, systematic and widespread abuse of human rights,” but has yet to call out Hamas for their gross human rights violations, including bombarding innocent Israeli civilians, using Palestinians as human shields, while also persecuting women, gays and Christian minorities in Gaza.

Click here for full article.

New York Friday sermon: “Muslims are obligated to fight”

“It is our narrative, it is our story, that we will fight every corrupt leader and every corrupt government until the lands of the world are free, and have justice from sea to sea, from mountain range to mountain range, from desert to desert, from forest to forest, from city to city, and from street to street.” Justice, for a Muslim American Society operative like Rami Kawas, means Sharia. The Muslim American Society is one of the Muslim Brotherhood’s chief operating arms in the United States.

“New York Friday Sermon: U.S. Muslims Should Boycott Coca-Cola, Nestle,” MEMRI, August 8, 2014 (thanks to Pamela Geller):

In a Friday sermon delivered in New York on August 8, 2014, activist Rami Kawas, who according to his Facebook page is youth director at The Muslim American Society’s Brooklyn and Staten Island Subchapter, called for American Muslims to boycott companies that support Zionism. He enumerated Coca-Cola, Nestle, and the French company Danone, and said: “We will fight every corrupt leader and every corrupt government until the lands of the world are free.” The sermon was posted on the Internet.

Following are excerpts:

Rami Kawas: What do we do today to free the land of Palestine? What is our narrative? What is our story? What can we do?

[...]

“Oh you who believe” – all of you – “it is prescribed upon you to fight.”

“Fighting has been enjoined upon you while it is hateful to you. But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not.” — Qur’an 2:216 

But let’s make this clear: Muslims are obligated to fight – anybody, anywhere, anytime – for their justice and their freedom. There are no qualms about it. Our community and our religion tell us that any time there is a need to fight and resist occupation, oppression, injustice, crimes, murders, thieves, or criminals – we will fight. We have no qualms about it.

Our religion makes it very clear to us that our obligation is to resist whichever way we can. If our own hands have to do something, then we will do something about it. So it is very clear that Allah tells us that it is our obligation to resist oppression, tyranny, and occupation.

Click here for original source.

90% of Gazans support Hamas’ rocket fire

How can the international community demand Israel to make peace with a population where almost 90% support terrorism and the indiscriminate targeting of civilians?

kassam2-300x230Times of Israel (Aug 27) — An overwhelming majority of Gazans support the rocket fire on Israel from the Gaza Strip, a new poll by the West Bank-based Palestinian Center for Public Opinion (PCPO) shows.

The poll, conducted in August 2014, reveals that 88.9 percent of Gaza residents “support the firing of rockets from Gaza at Israel,” while 75.4% say they believe the deterrence of the Palestinian resistance movement has increased. A similar poll conducted in January 2013 showed that just under 50 percent of Gazans supported the rocket fire at the time.

However, most participants say that specific operations against Israel, and not the firing of rockets, was the “most successful act of the Palestinian resistance in retaliation for the recent Israeli aggression.” according to the survey, 15.9% say the rockets are the most successful form of resistance, 23.3% opt for “infiltrating through enemy lines,” 29% choose operations such as the deployment of frogmen and other commanders into Israeli territory, while 12% prefer “the coordination between the different factions.”

Click here and go to the 13:36 live update for full survey.

Black flag of jihad flies over Paris anti-Israel rally

Black-Flag-e1408978625573Islamic jihadists worldwide know that the war against Israel is part of the global jihad — indeed, the foremost part. The only people who don’t know this are Western analysts and diplomats. “Black Terror Flag Flies Over Paris Anti-Israel Rally [VIDEO],” by Jamie Weinstein, Daily Caller, August 25, 2014:

PARIS — At an anti-Israel protest next to the Eiffel Tower Sunday, one attendee flew a black flag of the type often used by Islamist terror groups.

Terror groups like al-Qaida and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria use variations of the type of black flag flown at the rally. The flags all quote the Shahada in Arabic, which translates into English as: “There is no god but Allah, Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.” (RELATED: ISIS Spokesman Pledges To ‘Raise The Flag Of Allah In The White House’)

The black flag is sometimes referred to as the “black flag of Jihad” and represents the desire of Islamist terror groups to create a global Islamic caliphate ruled by Sharia law.

Click here for video.

The Price of Hamas’ Underground Terror Network

Hamas could be investing in the people of Gaza. Instead it invests in terrorism.

Tunnel-banner-spIDF blog — Construction materials meant for Palestinians routinely enter Gaza from Israel. To be exact, 4,680 trucks carrying 181 thousand tons of gravel, iron, cement, wood and other supplies have passed through the Kerem Shalom crossing since the beginning of 2014.

Imagine what Hamas could build with these resources instead of tunnels. Hundreds of homes and civilian structures for the residents of Gaza go unbuilt while the underground terror network continues to expand.

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Hamas’ first priority is killing Israelis. The people of Gaza and the people of Israel suffer because of this.

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Click here for original source.

Why Is the Islamic State Behaving This Way?

Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book, Arab Winter Comes to America: The Truth About the War We’re In, is now available.

390510-456a0a56-fa56-11e3-9463-539ac6ca705bBy Robert Spencer for FrontPage Mag (Aug 20) — The Islamic State is turning into a huge public relations problem for groups like the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and its allies. For years they have insisted that Islam is a religion of peace that has nothing whatsoever to do with the terrorism committed with alarming regularity in its name, and that the people responsible for linking Islam with terrorism were not Islamic jihad terrorists, but “Islamophobic” opponents of jihad terror. But then comes along a group calling itself The Islamic State, committing unimaginable atrocities and presenting each one as an authentic embodiment of Islamic texts and teachings, and the deception campaign at which CAIR officials have labored so assiduously for so many years, and with such great success, is in danger of crashing around their uneasy necks.

Take, for example, the recent revelation that, according to the UN News Centre, “some 1,500 Yazidi and Christian persons may have been forced into sexual slavery.” A similar kidnapping by Islamic jihadists in Nigeria recently horrified the world, but much overlooked was the fact that such behavior is sanctioned by the Qur’an. According to Islamic law, Muslim men can take “captives of the right hand” (Qur’an 4:3, 4:24, 33:50). The Qur’an says: “O Prophet! Lo! We have made lawful unto thee thy wives unto whom thou hast paid their dowries, and those whom thy right hand possesseth of those whom Allah hath given thee as spoils of war” (33:50). 4:3 and 4:24 extend this privilege to Muslim men in general, as does this passage. “Certainly will the believers have succeeded: They who are during their prayer humbly submissive, and they who turn away from ill speech, and they who are observant of zakah, and they who guard their private parts except from their wives or those their right hands possess, for indeed, they will not be blamed” (Qur’an 23:1-6).

These passages have not gone unnoticed. The Egyptian Sheikh Abu-Ishaq al-Huwayni declared in May 2011 that “we are in the era of jihad,” and that meant Muslims would take slaves. In a subsequent interview he elaborated:

Jihad is only between Muslims and infidels. Spoils, slaves, and prisoners are only to be taken in war between Muslims and infidels. Muslims in the past conquered, invaded, and took over countries. This is agreed to by all scholars—there is no disagreement on this from any of them, from the smallest to the largest, on the issue of taking spoils and prisoners. The prisoners and spoils are distributed among the fighters, which includes men, women, children, wealth, and so on.

When a slave market is erected, which is a market in which are sold slaves and sex-slaves, which are called in the Qur’an by the namemilk al-yamin, “that which your right hands possess” [Koran 4:24]. This is a verse from the Qur’an which is still in force, and has not been abrogated. The milk al-yamin are the sex-slaves. You go to the market, look at the sex-slave, and buy her. She becomes like your wife, (but) she doesn’t need a (marriage) contract or a divorce like a free woman, nor does she need a wali. All scholars agree on this point—there is no disagreement from any of them. [...] When I want a sex slave, I just go to the market and choose the woman I like and purchase her.

… The Islamic State acts on these beliefs, which are Qur’an-based. The kidnappings, meanwhile, have taken place amid a backdrop of unimaginable slaughter. The victims were those who refused the Islamic State’s demand that they convert to Islam to save their lives: a Yazidi woman explained last week why thousands of Yazidis had fled the area of Iraq controlled by the Islamic State: “We came here because the terrorists said, ‘Either you convert to Islam or we slaughter you.’”

The Quran says “there is no compulsion in religion” (2:256) – a verse much beloved of Western non-Muslim multiculturalists, but it also says that Muslims must fight unbelievers until “religion is all for Allah” (8:39). And it insists that Muslims should “slay them” wherever they’re found (cf. 2:191; 4:89; 9:5).

It also says that Muslims must fight against the “People of the Book” – Jews, Christians, and others who are considered to have received previous revelations from Allah – until they “pay the jizya with willing submission and feel themselves subdued” (9:29). That option of submission and subjugation, however, is not open to groups that have no written revelation that could qualify them for “People of the Book” status. Hence for the Yazidis, to convert or die are the only Qur’anic options open for them.

The Islamic State’s actions are an open book, and that book is the Qur’an. American Muslim spokesmen would do well to explain how they are misinterpreting the Islamic holy books, but claims to that effect have been vague and short of references to problematic passages. As long as that refusal to confront the problem continues, so will the killing.

Click here for full article.

Islamic State threat ‘beyond anything we’ve seen’: Pentagon

U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel speaks during a press briefing at the Pentagon in Washington, August 21, 2014.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel speaks during a press briefing at the Pentagon in Washington, August 21, 2014.

Reuters (Aug 22) — The sophistication, wealth and military might of Islamic State militants represent a major threat to the United States that may surpass that once posed by al Qaeda, U.S. military leaders said on Thursday.

“They are an imminent threat to every interest we have, whether it’s in Iraq or anywhere else,” Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told reporters at the Pentagon.

Hagel’s assessment of Islamic State, which gained strength during Syria’s civil war and swept into northern Iraq earlier this summer, sounded a note of alarm several days after the group posted a video on social media showing one of its fighters beheading an American hostage kidnapped in Syria.

Asked if the hardline Sunni Muslim organization posed a threat to the United States comparable to that of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Hagel said it was “as sophisticated and well-funded as any group we have seen.”

“They are beyond just a terrorist group. They marry ideology, a sophistication of … military prowess. They are tremendously well-funded. This is beyond anything we’ve seen.”

Hagel spoke as the United States continued attacking Islamic State targets in Iraq. In the past two weeks, U.S. drones and fighter jets have conducted 89 airstrikes against militant targets in northern Iraq.

So far, President Barack Obama has sought to limit his renewed military campaign in Iraq to protecting American diplomats and civilians under direct threat. Obama ended the war in Iraq that killed thousands of American soldiers and consumed U.S. foreign policy for nearly a decade,

Even after the gruesome killing of U.S. journalist James Foley, Obama is seen as unlikely to deepen his near-term military involvement in either Iraq or Syria as he seeks to avoid becoming embroiled in another messy Middle Eastern conflict.

But U.S. officials say they have not ruled out escalating military action against Islamic State, which has increased its overt threats against the United States since the air campaign in Iraq began.

Click here for full article.

Stop blaming Israel and wake up: The black flag of jihad is the REAL threat to the world

EVENTS in the Middle East today have repercussions on the streets of Britain and Europe.

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By Douglas Murray for Express (Aug 21) — Jews are attacked here in Britain, they are blockaded into a synagogue in Paris and the chant ‘Death to the Jews’ is heard in Germany for the first time in 70 years.

But too few people seem to want to notice this or admit what it means. They think this is just about Israel, or just about Jewish people. It isn’t. It is about all of us.

The decision last month by the Israeli government to respond to Hamas rocket-fire from Gaza is the response any government would choose if rockets were fired at its citizens. The Israeli government has the right – as does any government – to stop the bombarding of its people.

However, in recent weeks it has become plain that much of the world expects a different response from Israel. They expect Israel not to fight for the safety, security and survival of their people, but to lie down in front of the Islamic extremist enemy.

The UK government has even – disgracefully – stopped selling some arms to Israel just when the country needs such weapons most.  But in expecting Israel to behave differently from the rest of us our societies and governments reveal far more about our own state than the State of Israel.

Because the truth is that behind the demands for Israel to lie down in front of its enemies is a fatal unwillingness of our own to face the problem which is in our midst.

James Foley Iraq ISIS

The brutal murder of James Foley by ISIS underlines the real threat to world peace [AP]

The ambition of the jihadists – from al-Qaeda to Hamas, Hezbollah, Boko Haram and more – is to subjugate the entire world

There are those who think that Israel is somehow the cause of the world’s problems, or that in defending themselves from Islamic extremists Israel is somehow causing Islamic extremism. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The extremists of Hamas are the ideological bedfellows of the extremists of ISIS who are rampaging through Syria and Iraq, crucifying and beheading as they go.

The video of the apparent beheading of American journalist James Foley by an ISIS murderer with a British accent has shocked the world. ISIS or IS are the soul-mates of Boko Haram who kidnap and kill Christian villagers in the North of Nigeria and stole 300 schoolgirls earlier this year.

They also share the exact same ideology – if not yet the same means – as those people who were found in Birmingham earlier this year teaching British pupils to hate wider British society and cut themselves off from non-Muslims.

But it is this last part of the equation which many people seem so incapable of dealing with. They see the millions of Muslims who have come to our continent and see how many of them are radical. But it is a problem they fear they cannot deal with.

ISIS slaughter Iraq

ISIS militants in Salaheddin, Iraq brutally execute dozens of civilians by the roadside [AFP]

They believe that if Israel just gave up fighting and disappeared that the rest of us would be able to live in peace.  They see the young Muslims who stormed into a supermarket in Birmingham last weekend, trashing the products and assaulting a British policeman and they think “this is caused by Israel.”

They see young Parisian Muslims throw slabs of concrete at police and set fire to cars and they think “If only Israel weren’t responding to Hamas rocket-fire.”  And they see Imams in Germany and Italy preach that all Jewish people  must be killed and they pretend that it is not a problem for all of us.

How wrong they are.  The problem of anti-Semitism, and Islamic anti-Semitism in particular today, is undoubtedly a problem for Jewish people. But it is only a problem for them first. It is a problem for all of us next.

What is it that lies behind this terrible Hamas-driven rage against Israel?  What lies behind the desire for Israel to disappear? Today the world is finding out.

Because behind the flags of Hamas and Hezbollah which have flown at anti-Israel demonstrations in recent weeks is another flag. The black flag of jihad – the black flag most recently being waved in Iraq and Syria by ISIS.

Islamic State terrorists raise their black flags in Syria

ISIS jihadists flying the black flag in Syria [REUTERS]

Last month the black flag was flown from a car in London’s Blackwall tunnel as East End Muslims blocked the traffic. At the entrance to a council estate in East London earlier this month there were anti-Israel banners and Palestinian flags. And then, on top of the lot, the black flag of jihad was flown. In Oxford Street last week Islamic extremists set up stall to try to recruit people to rally around the black flag of ISIS.

The black flag is not about Jewish people. Today in Iraq and Syria it is about Christians who ISIS is forcing to convert to Islam at gunpoint or face beheading. Many Christians are being killed by ISIS for refusing to renounce their faith. On some occasions Christians have tried to save their lives by “converting” at gunpoint and ISIS have killed them anyway.

And this is not only about Christians. It is also about other minority faiths in Islamist dominated countries. In Iraq it is also about the Yazidis, the Mandeans and other ancient beliefs which predate Islam.

The ambition of the jihadists – from al-Qaeda to Hamas, Hezbollah, Boko Haram and more – is to subjugate the entire world.

It is now the duty of all decent people – including decent Muslims – to turn on these barbarians and make it clear they will not win.  

Rather than offer up beleaguered Israel we should send another message.  That the extremists will not win in their desire to take over Israel anymore than they will win in their stated desire to raise the black flag of jihad over Rome, Washington, Downing Street and Buckingham Palace.

Israel is not the cause of the world’s problems. It is simply on the front line of them.  

But increasingly so are we all. And if we abandon Israel today then one day – too late – we will realise that in fact what we abandoned was ourselves.

* Douglas Murray is the Associate Director at the Henry Jackson Society

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Video: Hamas official takes credit for kidnap and murder of Israeli teens

Salah al-Aruri praises “heroic action” of Kassam Brigades; Hamas had previously denied kidnapping Fraenkel, Shaer and Yifrah.

The Jerusalem Post (Aug 21) — A senior Hamas official admitted for the first time on Wednesday that the organization’s armed wing, the Kassam Brigades, was behind the kidnapping and murder of Israeli teens Nafatli Fraenkel, Gil-Ad Shaer and Eyal Yifrah in the West Bank in  June.

The Hamas official, Salah al-Aruri made the comments during a conference of Islamic clerics in Turkey. He praised the “heroic action of the Kassam Brigades who kidnapped three settlers in Hebron.”

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Israel has contended that Hamas was behind the kidnapping of the boys, a claim that Hamas had previously denied.

In the aftermath of the kidnapping , the IDF launched a wide-scale operation in the West Bank , arresting hundreds of Hamas operatives.

The two suspects in the kidnapping, Marwan Kawasme and Amar Abu Aysha are Hebron-area Hamas operatives who remain at large.

The alleged mastermind of the kidnapping, Hussam Kawasame was arrested on July 11.

On Monday, Border Patrol officers demolished the homes of Hussam Kawasme and Abu Aysha and sealed off the home of Marwan Kawasme.

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New Declassified Report Exposes Hamas Human Shield Policy

1The IDF has published a new declassified report that exposes the extent to which Hamas Illegally used public infrastructure during Operation Protective Edge.

A new report released by the IDF utilizes intelligence maps, photographic and video evidence to mount a serious case against Hamas’ illegal use of public infrastructure during Operation Protective Edge.

The report shows Hamas’ use of UN facilities, schools, graveyards, mosques and power plants, among other civilian areas.  According to the report, Hamas has launched above 1,600 rockets from civilian sites.

Who Will Stand Up for the Christians?

By Ronald S. Lauder who is the president of the World Jewish Congress.

NY Times (Aug 19) – WHY is the world silent while Christians are being slaughtered in the Middle East and Africa? In Europe and in the United States, we have witnessed demonstrations over the tragic deaths of Palestinians who have been used as human shields by Hamas, the terrorist organization that controls Gaza. The United Nations has held inquiries and focuses its anger on Israel for defending itself against that same terrorist organization. But the barbarous slaughter of thousands upon thousands of Christians is met with relative indifference.

The Middle East and parts of central Africa are losing entire Christian communities that have lived in peace for centuries. The terrorist group Boko Haram has kidnapped and killed hundreds of Christians this year — ravaging the predominantly Christian town of Gwoza, in Borno State in northeastern Nigeria, two weeks ago. Half a million Christian Arabs have been driven out of Syria during the three-plus years of civil war there. Christians have been persecuted and killed in countries from Lebanon to Sudan.

Historians may look back at this period and wonder if people had lost their bearings. Few reporters have traveled to Iraq to bear witness to the Nazi-like wave of terror that is rolling across that country. The United Nations has been mostly mum. World leaders seem to be consumed with other matters in this strange summer of 2014. There are no flotillas traveling to Syria or Iraq. And the beautiful celebrities and aging rock stars — why doesn’t the slaughter of Christians seem to activate their social antennas?

President Obama should be commended for ordering airstrikes to save tens of thousands of Yazidis, who follow an ancient religion and have been stranded on a mountain in northern Iraq, besieged by Sunni Muslim militants. But sadly, airstrikes alone are not enough to stop this grotesque wave of terrorism.

The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is not a loose coalition of jihadist groups, but a real military force that has managed to take over much of Iraq with a successful business model that rivals its coldblooded spearhead of death. It uses money from banks and gold shops it has captured, along with control of oil resources and old-fashioned extortion, to finance its killing machine, making it perhaps the wealthiest Islamist terrorist group in the world. But where it truly excels is in its carnage, rivaling the death orgies of the Middle Ages. It has ruthlessly targeted Shiites, Kurds and Christians.

“They actually beheaded children and put their heads on a stick” a Chaldean-American businessman named Mark Arabo told CNN, describing a scene in a Mosul park. “More children are getting beheaded, mothers are getting raped and killed, and fathers are being hung.”

This week, 200,000 Aramaeans fled their ancestral homeland around Nineveh, having already escaped Mosul.

The general indifference to ISIS, with its mass executions of Christians and its deadly preoccupation with Israel, isn’t just wrong; it’s obscene.

In a speech before thousands of Christians in Budapest in June, I made a solemn promise that just as I will not be silent in the face of the growing threat of anti-Semitism in Europe and in the Middle East, I will not be indifferent to Christian suffering. Historically, it has almost always been the other way around: Jews have all too often been the persecuted minority. But Israel has been among the first countries to aid Christians in South Sudan. Christians can openly practice their religion in Israel, unlike in much of the Middle East.

This bond between Jews and Christians makes complete sense. We share much more than most religions. We read the same Bible, and share a moral and ethical core. Now, sadly, we share a kind of suffering: Christians are dying because of their beliefs, because they are defenseless and because the world is indifferent to their suffering.

Good people must join together and stop this revolting wave of violence. It’s not as if we are powerless. I write this as a citizen of the strongest military power on earth. I write this as a Jewish leader who cares about my Christian brothers and sisters.

The Jewish people understand all too well what can happen when the world is silent. This campaign of death must be stopped.

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