IDF Intelligence: Threats and Opportunities for Israel on Many Fronts

By Yoav Limor for Israel Hayom:

  • According to four key Military Intelligence officers, tunnels in Gaza, a wave of terrorism across the West Bank, Islamic State attacks in Sinai, the Syrian civil war, Hizbullah’s improved arsenal, the future of Iran’s nuclear program and the stability of the Egyptian and Jordanian regimes are only a few of the challenges facing the Middle East, and Israel within it.
  • Gaza has never been quieter. Still, Hamas is pursuing a steadily intensifying armament effort, as evident by the terror tunnel recently discovered under the Israel-Gaza border. Egypt has turned its back on Hamas and now sees it as no better than Islamic State, and its Saudi and other Arab patrons have more urgent matters that require funding. Iran remains Hamas’ main sponsor.
  • In the West Bank, Abbas’ regime is fraying at the seams. With no apparent successor, a complex succession battle is almost certain. Hamas may try to seize the strategic opportunity presented by the leadership vacuum and seize control of the West Bank.
  • International efforts to end the fighting in Syria have led to a change in Israeli intelligence assessments. Instead of the prospect of prolonged bloodshed with no end in sight, there may be tangible chances of a diplomatic agreement that will end the fighting in a way that would make Syria a functioning nation again.
  • Any arrangement in Syria will have to include Russia as the keeper of Alawite, Iranian and Hizbullah interests, as well as its own. There are currently over 10,000 Shiite militia operatives fighting alongside the Syrian army, as well as 1,500 Iranian soldiers, thousands of Hizbullah operatives, and significant Russian forces.
  • While it is clear Islamic State will not be overrunning Syria, Iran will not be tightening its grip on it, either. Any future deal will include an Israeli demand to curtail the delivery of Iranian weapons to Hizbullah via Syria, delay the rehabilitation of the Syrian military, and devise a mechanism that would ensure calm on the Golan Heights.
  • The Syrian civil war has exacted a heavy toll from Hizbullah, with over 1,300 operatives killed and nearly 10,000 injured. Some 7,000 of its operatives are currently fighting in Syria. Nevertheless, Hizbullah is investing considerable resources in acquiring long-range missiles that could wreak havoc on Israel.

Click here for full article.

Honor crimes – one of the world’s most urgent human rights disasters

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I recently watched “Honor Diaries,” (see official trailer above) a heartwrenching documentary about honor crimes – one of the world’s most urgent and widespread human rights disasters.

  • More than 140 million women & girls are living with the consequences of female genital mutilation (FGM)
  • 6,000 women & girls undergo female genital mutilation EVERY DAY
  • More than 60 million girls worldwide are child brides
  • In Afghanistan, 87% of women face violence or forced marriage
  • In Pakistan, 90% of women experience domestic violence
  • In Egypt, more than 99% of women have experienced sexual harassment
  • In the UK, there are about 3,000 honor attacks EVERY YEAR

The fact that people in the West largely refuse to discuss this issue due to political correctness is a moral disaster that will haunt us for generations.

Watch this documentary and share the information:
http://www.honordiaries.com/

Terror attacks in Brussels – it’s time to wake up and identify the enemy: radical Islam

Today radical Islamic terrorists targeted the men and women of Brussels as they went to work on a spring morning. In a series of co-ordinated attacks they murdered and maimed dozens of innocent commuters at subway stations and travelers at the airport.

The terrorists do not care about the identities of the innocent victims – we are all guilty in the eyes of these terrorists for not submitting to their ideology.

Even though radical Islamic terror attacks have become all too common, many of our leaders refuse to correctly identify the perpetrators out of fear and political correctness. We can no longer afford either. Whether or not we’d like to admit it, radical Islam is at war with us and the first step to defeating an enemy is to identify it.

I believe that freedom will always defeat tyranny, but for that to happen the West and other like-minded societies have to join together and fight this ideology together.

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Does anti-Israel mean anti-Semitism?

I received this comment in response to another blog post:

“Seriously, if you can’t make a distinction between having a negative opinion of Israel (the state and their policies) and having an anti-Semitic opinion, how do you expect to be taken seriously?”

Let me give you three quick points.

1. Israel, a liberal democracy, is always found at the top of the most negatively viewed countries in the world. In a BBC survey of 22 countries, only Iran and Pakistan are viewed worse than Israel, with North Korea tying Israel in 3rd place.

2. Journalists and politicans often justify this view by saying that the Arab-Israeli conflict is the world’s most dangerous conflict. However, when you rank the number of fatalities since 1950 (the modern State of Israel was established in 1948), the Arab-Israeli conflict is found in 49th place.

3. Moreover, at the UN, 40% of the Human Rights Council resolutions are against one country: Israel. That must mean Israel is the most evil country in the world, right? Well, if you compare the number of condemnations to the number of deaths caused by a country; Israel gets several thousand percent more condemnations than she should. For example, North Korea has killed 2.25 million people, but has only received 10 condemnations. Israel has caused 46,000 deaths, but has received 223 condemnations. Go to 1:10 in the video below to see more examples.

What is the common thread? Why is Israel judged so unfairly? You guessed it, anti-Semitism.

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Jordanian Security and Prosperity: An Essential Aspect of Israeli Policy

pp-300x215Maj. Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror and Col. (res.) Dr. Eran Lerman for BESA Center-Bar-Ilan University (Dec 27):

  • Israel has a strategic interest in, and long-standing commitment to, the safety, security, stability and prosperity of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. In current times, the relationship is buttressed by a broad-ranging series of cooperative ventures in the strategic, security, diplomatic, economic and energy fields.
  • The stability and prosperity of Jordan has been a central element of Israeli national security policy for three generations. In 1958, David Ben-Gurion facilitated steps taken by the West to help the Kingdom resist the pressures of Nasserist radicals. In 1970, Golda Meir – in close coordination with the U.S. – was willing to risk war in order to compel Soviet-backed Syrian forces to reverse their invasion of Jordan. (This move was successful).
  • Similarly, Yitzhak Shamir reached understandings with King Hussein during the Desert Storm crisis of 1990-1991, despite Jordan’s ambivalent position towards Iraq at the time. The peace treaty with Jordan of 1994, under Yitzhak Rabin’s leadership, brought into broad daylight what already had been an enduring relationship.
  • A persistent and profound recognition of mutual interests (and mutual enemies) has led both countries – regardless of who has been in power in Israel at any given time – to seek strategic understandings and remove causes of tension.
  • Israeli assistance to Jordan – above all, helping Jordan cope in recent years with the immense influx of Syrian refugees – remains crucial. Significant segments of Israeli society are aware of, and engaged in meeting, this challenge. Several Israeli NGOs as well as youth movements are playing a role – never overt, but still symbolically significant – in providing elementary support for the more-than-one-million Syrian refugees in Jordan.

    Maj. Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror is former National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister. Col. (res.) Dr. Eran Lerman is former deputy for foreign policy and international affairs at the National Security Council.

Click here for full article.

Will the West Defend Its Own Values Against Radical Islam?

Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser (Ha’aretz 21 Dec)

  • The report published by the chairman of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) asserts that Iran lied when it claimed it had never tried to develop nuclear weapons. It is certain that Iran conducted a full and organized military nuclear program up to 2003 and continued to pursue aspects of it at least until 2009.
  • The U.S. Administration says its moves regarding Iran are aimed at helping the moderate Rouhani fight the extremists. Yet Rouhani is part of the leadership of the Islamic Republic. In the eyes of Supreme Leader Khamenei, Rouhani’s whole mission is to mislead the Americans and get the sanctions lifted. At the end of the day, helping Rouhani means helping Khamenei.
  • The nuclear agreement with Iran, the recognition of Iran as a key actor in the region, particularly in Syria, and the easing of pressure on Iran’s lackey, Assad, have sown despair and anxiety among Sunni pragmatists. A large portion concluded that under these conditions they had no future in Syria, and the result was the huge wave of migrants now flooding Europe.
  • The strategy toward radical Islam must begin with recognition of the threat and with preparedness to take realistic measures to counter it. The West must stop treating representatives of Islamic extremists, Muslim Brotherhood organizations, and supporters of the Iranian regime as its allies. This policy weakens the pragmatists and encourages radicalization.
  • Finally, the West must make clear that it is committed to its own values and prepared to defend them. Settling for airstrikes, while using the ridiculous excuse that ground activity is what ISIS wants, displays weakness and confusion and plays into the radicals’ hands.
  • The admired Polish king and commander, John III Sobieski, went boldly into the decisive battle at the gates of Vienna in 1683, and his victory saved Europe and enabled the flourishing of Western culture. Can the West regain its resolve this time as well?

Click here for full article.

Israeli Defense Minister: Don’t Be Fooled by Iran’s ‘Charm Offensive’

Defense News:

  • Since the founding of the State of Israel, we have had 67 years of continuous security and diplomatic challenges stemming from a vehement opposition to our very existence by our neighboring Arab states and their supporting organizations.
  • As the star of pan-Arabism/Arab nationalism faded, radical Islam (both Shia and Sunni) rose in its place. This new ideology is driving the current wave of terror that aims to harm Israel and its citizens. This wave of terror has turned Israel into the front line of the free world.
  • The battle against radical Islamic terror will be the greatest challenge facing the family of nations, under the leadership of the United States, in the coming years. Israel, the sole democracy in the Middle East, is an inseparable part of this family of nations and will push for greater cooperation, in both intelligence and operational capacities, among the free world’s countries.
  • If the terrorists and their operators will not be stopped at their points of origin, they will reach the capitals of every nation in the free world where they will brutally murder citizens.
  • The nuclear agreement signed with Iran will not reduce the threat of this regime on the entire free world. On the contrary. The merciless Iranian regime, that typifies Israel as the “Little Satan” and threatens to obliterate it from the map, holds equal discontent toward the United States, termed the “Great Satan.” As Iran gains power in the post-agreement era, Israel is faced with an additional substantial challenge.
  • It is essential to say, in the most clear-cut manner, that Iran is completely and utterly on the dark side. Not only that, but they sit at the helm of the forces of evil. We should not be fooled by their deceitful charm offensive. Iran remains a huge threat to the Western world and the security of its citizens.

    Lt.-Gen. (ret.) Moshe Ya’alon is Israel’s defense minister.

Click here for full article.

Netanyahu: Palestinians, Not Israel, to Blame for Diplomatic Stalemate

Haaretz — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday it is time for the international community to understand that it is the Palestinian Authority, and not Israel, who is at fault for the diplomatic stalemate. Netanyahu’s remarks follow criticism of his government’s policies by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry published in the issue of the New Yorker magazine the day before.

“We are besieged with repeated polls in the Palestinian Authority that about 75 percent of this population rejects the solution of two states for two peoples and about 80 percent are in favor of continued stabbings,” Netanyahu said in the course of a visit to the Israeli army’s southern command headquarters.

Netanyahu blamed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for stirring up animosity towards Israel. In reacting to the polling data, Netanyahu made reference to Abbas’ repeated claims in recent months that Israel is attempting to violate the status quo at the Al-Aqsa mosque on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount – a charge that the Israeli government vigorously denies – and that Israel’s killing of stabbing suspects amounts to extra-judicial executions.

“That’s not surprising because Abu Mazen [Abbas] is continuing constantly to stir things up with false propaganda about Al-Aqsa, false propaganda about executions and by rejecting any genuine attempt at coming to negotiations,” he said.

Click here for full article.

Hamas and the Islamic State: Growing Cooperation in the Sinai

Washington Institute for Near East Policy (Dec 15) — Hamas has been increasing its clandestine military cooperation with the Islamic State’s “Sinai Province,” culminating in a prolonged secret visit to Gaza this month by IS Sinai’s military chief Shadi al-Menai. Menai has been at the top of Egypt’s most-wanted list. Over the past two years, IS Sinai has helped Hamas move weapons from Iran and Libya through the peninsula, taking a generous cut from each shipment.

In Sinai, a thousand heavily armed Bedouins affiliated with IS still pose a serious threat to Egyptian troops and government offices. Egypt’s General Intelligence Directorate officials are convinced that Hamas is engaged in a sustained effort to undermine government control over the Sinai, even as it publicly seeks a rapprochement with Cairo. Hamas cooperation with IS Sinai also opens the door to IS gaining more ground among the Palestinians.

CROSS-BORDER SMUGGLING AND TRAINING

Over the past two years, IS Sinai helped Hamas move weapons from Iran and Libya through the peninsula, taking a generous cut from each shipment. Hamas relies on Bedouin guides to avoid detection by the Egyptian army and reach the few tunnels that have survived Cairo’s aggressive flooding and closure campaign. In this manner, IS Sinai acquired the advanced Kornet antitank missiles it has used to sink an Egyptian patrol boat off the coast of al-Arish and destroy several tanks and armored carriers stationed in the peninsula’s northeastern sector. Hamas has also provided training to some IS Sinai fighters and assisted with the group’s media campaign and online postings.

The writer is an international fellow with The Washington Institute and a Middle East commentator for Israel’s Channel Two television.

Click here for full article.

Poll: Young Palestinians Support Current Protests, Armed Struggle

Arab World for Research & Development in Ramallah (Dec 14) — An online study of Palestinians age 16-35 by Arab World for Research & Development in Ramallah, conducted Dec. 1-7, asked:

Do you believe that the current protests represent a popular intifada (with wide participation) or are they being carried out by a small number of participants? Popular intifada – 26%; Small number of participants – 70%.

Do you support or oppose the continuation of the protests as is? Support – 57%; Oppose – 28%.

Do you support or oppose attacks against Israeli civilians inside the Green Line? Support – 49%; Oppose – 36%.

Which of the following methods do you personally support to end the occupation? Armed struggle – 53%; International advocacy – 16%; Non-violent protest – 11%; Negotiations – 8%.

Click here for full survey.

International Defense Experts Back IDF’s 2014 Gaza Campaign

Report by international High Level Military Group blasts UN commission, says Israel set a standard no other army could match

idf-troops-in-gaza-960x543Times of Israel (Dec 14) — Armies of the world would be rendered far less effective if they were forced to operate under the same restrictions as the IDF during last summer’s Gaza campaign, a group of former military and defense leaders from nine countries claim in a new report released Friday.

  • Armies of the world would be rendered far less effective if they were forced to operate under the same restrictions as the IDF during Israel’s 2014 Gaza campaign, a group of former military and defense leaders from nine countries said in a new report released Friday.
  • The High Level Military Group (HLMG) – made up of retired generals and defense officials from Germany, Colombia, India, Spain, Australia, the U.S., France, the UK and Italy – found that Israel not only abided by the laws of armed conflict, but far surpassed their requirements.
  • The report found that the UN accepted Hamas’ figures for combatant vs. civilian casualties, while the HLMG found Hamas’ numbers to be rife with inconsistencies, such as the “inclusion of duplicate names, incorrect ages, combat-related deaths caused by Hamas or its affiliate organizations, such as in the case of misfired rockets, and deaths not related to the hostilities but classified as such.”
  • Col. Richard Kemp, the former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, said that commissions investigating the conflict should have looked to see that everything feasibly was done to avoid the deaths of non-combatants, and that the standard of zero civilian deaths is an impossible one.
  • The HLMG laid the blame for the vast majority of civilian casualties at the feet of Hamas, which instituted a deliberate policy to cause as many Palestinian civilian deaths as possible in order to wage a PR war against Israel. The report noted that Israel tried multiple times to end the conflict through diplomatic means, only to be rebuffed by Hamas at every turn.

See also Text: An Assessment of the 2014 Gaza Conflict – High Level Military Group (Friends of Israel Initiative)

See also The Gaza War 2014: The War Israel Did Not Want and the Disaster It Averted – Hirsh Goodman and Dore Gold, eds. (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

Click here for full article.

Palestinians’ Biggest Tragedy: Failed Leadership

By Khaled Abu Toameh for the Gatestone Institute (Dec 12):

  • It was recently reported that the commander of the Islamic State (ISIS) branch in Sinai held talks in the Gaza Strip with leaders of Hamas’s armed wing, the Ezaddin al-Qassam Brigades, about expanding their cooperation.
  • President Abbas does not seem to care whether the Palestinians of Gaza are turned into hostages and prisoners. He is probably hoping that the crisis will drive Palestinians to revolt against the Hamas regime, paving the way for his PA to return to the Gaza Strip.
  • Instead of trying to solve the Gaza crisis, Abbas is too busy waging a diplomatic war against Israel. He wants to file “war crimes” charges against Israel with the International Criminal Court — ignoring the fact that he and Hamas are responsible for the suffering of the Palestinians in Gaza.
  • The Palestinians ignore the fact that their biggest tragedy over the past few decades has been (and remains) their failed and corrupt leadership that is willing to sacrifice them for its own interests.
Left: The Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip. Right: A Gazan man works in a smuggling tunnel under the Gaza-Egypt border, which was flooded by the Egyptian army.

Left: The Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip. Right: A Gazan man works in a smuggling tunnel under the Gaza-Egypt border, which was flooded by the Egyptian army.

Since June 2013, the Rafah border crossing, the sole crossing point between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, has been closed for most of the time.

Since the beginning of 2015, the Egyptian authorities have opened the Rafah terminal for a total of only 21 days.

Last week, the Egyptians opened the border crossing for two days, allowing a few hundred Palestinians to cross in both directions.

Last year, by contrast, the terminal was open for a total of 123 days, and in 2013 for 263 days.

These figures indicate that the Egyptians have stepped up security measures along their shared border with the Gaza Strip over the past few years.

In addition to the continued closure of the Rafah terminal, the Egyptian army continues to destroy dozens of smuggling tunnels between the Gaza Strip and Egypt. In recent weeks, the Egyptians have been pumping seawater into the tunnels, causing most of them to collapse.

The Egyptians have good reason to be concerned about the smuggling tunnels — especially in light of increased Islamist terror attacks against Egyptian soldiers and civilians in the Sinai Peninsula. Reports about cooperation between Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, and the Islamist terror groups in Sinai, have also prompted the Egyptians to keep the Rafah terminal shut for most of the time.

Click here for full article.

Expert: Palestinian Terror Is Directed from Above

After 20 years interviewing Palestinian terrorists in jails, Likud MK Anat Berko tries to explain the motivations of the current attackers.

mom-e1445889104288The Times of Israel (Dec 8) — Young Palestinians, many of them teenagers, are setting out to stab random Israelis, frequently losing their lives in the process. What are they hoping to achieve? MK Anat Berko (Likud) spent two decades as a criminologist specializing in suicide terrorists. So great were her listening skills that prisoners would talk to her for hours, hug her, cry and even give her their babies to hold.

Berko says the attackers are committing these acts for the sake of “glory” on social media and in Palestinian society, and they compete over who can be the biggest hero. The terrorists do not think death is the end, but fully believe they will enter paradise. Berko says many young Palestinians live in communities with a tremendous amount of social pressure, prohibitions and shame. In paradise, they can experience all the things that are forbidden in real life.

Berko says there is a normalization of violence in Palestinian society, with children’s television praising martyrs while al-Qaeda and Islamic State have upped the ante for brutality among would-be terrorists.

NOT LONE WOLVES

“I don’t accept the idea that these are lone wolves. This wave of terror is directed from above. The incitement is insane. It’s on TV, satellite broadcasts, in mosques, on the street and in schools, including East Jerusalem, in schools that we actually pay for. It’s so bad that it’s a surprise that not everyone is a terrorist. If you look at the website of the Palestinian Authority, they speak of all of Palestine, pre-1948, not just pre-1967.”

Click here for full article.

Palestinians: The Real Goal of the Intifada

1368By Bassam Tawil, a Palestinian scholar based in the Middle East. Gatestone Institute:

  • Abbas seems intentionally to ignore that he and his Palestinian Authority are responsible for the violence, as a result of their daily incitement against Israel.
  • A recent poll found that 48% of Palestinians interviewed believe that the real goal of the “intifada” is to “liberate all of Palestine.” In other words, approximately half of Palestinians believe that the “intifada” should lead to the destruction of Israel, which would be replaced with a Palestinian state — one that now would be ruled by Hamas and jihadi organizations such as Islamic State and Al-Qaeda.
  • It is notable that only 11% of respondents said the goal of the “intifada” should be to “liberate” only those territories captured by Israel in 1967.
  • The Palestinians do not, according to the poll, have a problem with “settlements” or “poor living conditions.” They have a problem with Israel’s existence. Palestinians do not see a difference between a West Bank “settlement” and cities inside Israel — or differentiate between Jews living there. They are all depicted as “settlers” and “colonialists.”
  • This contradicts Abbas’s claim that the Palestinians want a “peaceful and popular” uprising. The Palestinians are not, as their leaders claim, seeking a two-state solution.

Click here for full article.

Who Were the Palestinians Killed in Attacks during October 2015?

The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs:

A training video created by Hamas to show how to kill a Jew

A training video created by Hamas to show how to kill a Jew

  • On November 1, 2015, Hamas posted a statement on its English website, quoting the Palestinian health ministry, accusing the Israel Defense Forces of killing 72 Palestinians in October 2015. Left out of the release were the names of the dead.
  • Of the dead, 82% were killed during Palestinian-initiated violence.
  • During the summer of 2015, 25,000 children attended Hamas’ military training camps in Gaza. On August 5, 2015, senior Hamas officials Mahmoud Al-Zahar and Ismail Haniyeh attended a graduation ceremony at the Gaza City Hamas military camp and encouraged youth to reclaim all of Palestine.  There is little question that many of these youth stormed the fences with Israel in October 2015.
  • Hamas’ counting of these attackers and murderers to boost the number of people killed by the “oppressive Zionist regime” is Hamas’ disingenuous way of falsely demonizing Israel and seeking to undermine Israel’s ability to defend itself.  It is time to stop the victimization of terrorists.

On November 1, 2015, Hamas posted a statement on its English website, quoting the Palestinian health ministry, accusing the IDF of killing 72 Palestinians in October 2015: 17 Palestinian residents of the Gaza Strip, 54 from the West Bank and one from pre-1967 Israel.1  Intentionally left out of the release were the names of people they claimed were killed by Israeli forces in an apparent attempt to make their claim harder to contradict.  However, with lists produced by Al-Jazeera2 and the Middle East Monitor3 of the Palestinians killed in October  as well as reports from other media sources, it was possible to recreate Hamas’ list.

Click here for full article.

The “Spontaneous” Intifada Is Orchestrated by the Palestinian Leadership

By Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan Halevi for The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (Dec 1):

gaza_fence_riotThe Palestinian leadership is attempting to portray the current intifada as a kind of popular, spontaneous struggle that expresses the population’s despair over the political situation. In reality, it is an intifada supported and directed by the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah (the Palestinian Authority-PLO-Fatah) and Gaza (Hamas).

It is a Palestinian strategy that has been seen before. The green light for violent agitation and terror attacks is given by the Palestinian leadership, and the message is translated into actions by field operatives of the Palestinian organizations or by Palestinian residents. The Palestinian leadership also guarantees a network of social and financial support to any Palestinian resident who is arrested, wounded or harmed in the course of anti-Israeli terror activity, including monthly stipends for the individual and his or her family.

The Palestinian intifada has clear goals. The Palestinian Authority, led by Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), wants to use it as a tool to achieve its political objectives, which include compelling Israel to withdraw from Judea, Samaria, and east Jerusalem under international pressure.

Abbas Zaki, a member of the Fatah Central Committee, took part in the General Arab Conference to Support the intifada that was held in Beirut on November 20, 2015. In his speech there he asserted that “the Palestinian revolution will only end with the collapse of the [Zionist] entity.”1

Hamas Political Bureau member Mousa Abu Marzook, in his speech at the gathering, said Palestinian unity was a key factor in the success of the intifada, which he described as a very effective instrument for achieving political objectives.

Abu Marzook pointed out that the first intifada (which erupted in December 1987) led to the Oslo accords and the establishment of the Palestinian Authority. The second intifada in 2000 precipitated Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza and building of the security fence, which in his view, “despite its drawbacks, symbolizes the end of the Zionist endeavor.”

The goals of the current intifada (the Al-Quds intifada or Knives intifada), said Abu Marzook, are: forcing an Israeli withdrawal from Judea, Samaria, and Gaza, securing the freedom of all the Palestinian security prisoners, and lifting the blockade of Gaza.

Abu Marzook asserted that the intifada’s effectiveness depends on its continuation and expanding it in all spheres with all the Palestinian organizations participating. He urged the establishment of support committees for all aspects of the intifada.

The closing declaration of the Conference to Support the intifada, in which senior representatives of Fatah, which Abbas heads, took part, dubbed the current intifada the “Liberation intifada” and said it aimed to get Israel to withdraw from Judea and Samaria and dismantle the settlements.

In the closing declaration the participants stated that the intifada seeks to make it less costly for the IDF to withdraw from Jerusalem and the territories than to keep fighting both the intifada itself and international opinion. They said the Palestinians were already benefiting from the tension between Israel and the United States and Europe, which weakens Israel, the shift of public opinion against Israeli policy, and the strengthening of identification with the Palestinian people.3

The committee’s resolutions depict Israel as an enemy against which all-out war must be waged until its complete destruction. The first paragraph calls to put an end to the intra-Palestinian rift and for pursuing a national liberation program that is based on the intifada and the struggle to “liberate all the occupied land.” The second paragraph calls to implement the March 2015 resolutions of the PLO Central Committee, which called for ending security cooperation with Israel and investing all efforts in building the intifada and waging the struggle based on the goals and legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, while also canceling the agreements with Israel.

Click here for full article.

Connecting the Terror in Paris with the Terror against Israel

Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser for Haaretz (Dec 1):

kashmir_plo_isisSeemingly, the connection between the Islamic terror against the West and the Palestinian terror against Israel is confined to technical aspects and does not run deeper than that. It mainly involves the notion that terror is terror and any form of it is cruel and morally unjustified, induces feelings of fear and helplessness in the target population and has to be fought with similar intelligence and operational measures. As many Israelis have been saying, “Now the French understand how we live.”

Those who question the connection Israel draws between the two kinds of terror claim that, whereas the anti-Western terror stems from a militant interpretation of Islam calling for an assault on the West, its culture, and its behavior (this, it must be acknowledged, is certainly a possible interpretation of the Koran and the other central Islamic texts, even if not an exclusive interpretation), the anti-Israeli terror stems largely from nationalist motives, even if these are entwined and suffused with Islamic claims. It is, then, even if unjustified, an in-built reaction to Palestinian suffering and the supposed wrong that was done them with Israel’s establishment and its ongoing control of the post-1967 territories.

If there is a connection between the two, it lies – some say – in the fact that among the factors contributing to Islamic terror against the West are the injustices the West has done to the Muslims, including the creation of a nation-state for the Jewish people in the heart of the Islamic region at the Palestinians’ expense. Thus, they assert, in addition to the acceptable forms of fighting terror, the West must find a way to atone for its crimes and enable the fulfillment of the Palestinian national goals, even if it entails a risk to Israel’s security. With that, Islamic anger will be allayed.

DANGEROUS FORBEARANCE FOR “REALISTIC RADICAL ISLAM”

Seemingly there is some justification for distinguishing between the two kinds of terror. One kind is perpetrated by “ultra-radical” elements within radical Islam such as ISIS, the other mainly by Palestinians, some of whom belong to the “realistic” camp within radical Islam (primarily Hamas, which is affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood), and some of whom (belonging to Fatah) lean more to the “pragmatic” camp in the Muslim world. At the same time, the common denominator among all the actors who belong to the radical camp – the ultra-radicals and the realists – is the vision of a struggle against the West and its culture and against Muslims who are prepared to adopt elements of Western culture and are regarded as heretics.

The difference is that the ultra-radicals believe the time to fight the West and the heretics who are friendly to it has already arrived, especially given the West’s spiritual weakness and inability or unwillingness to fight back as it seeks to gratify its earthly desires in this physical world (recently reflected in its willingness to pave Iran’s path to the bomb, its reluctance to put “boots on the ground” in the war against ISIS and the fear of calling the radical Islamic threat by name and preference for the hollow term “violent extremism”). The realists within radical Islam believe that in this stage terror should only be directed at Israel, the West’s “extension in the Middle East,” and not against the West as a whole, which is not yet weak enough for the terror to be effective.

In this regard the struggle that the ultra-radical Islamists are waging against the West and its allies, on the one hand, and the Palestinian struggle against Israel, on the other, complement each other. Their common goal is to destroy the world order that the West created after the First World War, which included the dismantlement of the caliphate, the Sykes-Picot Agreement, and the adoption of the Balfour Declaration at the San Remo Conference as part of the British Mandate. This world order was reinforced after the Second World War, among other things by the decision to establish a Jewish State in Eretz Yisrael, whose implementation in the face of Muslim opposition is still rejected by the Palestinians and by radical Islam in all its variants. Thus, the terror against Israel and the terror against the West are two sides of the same coin from an ideological standpoint as well, not only regarding its methods and the means of fighting it. Israel needs to make this connection clearer to its friends in the West.

What disturbs the Palestinians is that as radical Islam’s direct warfare against the West expands, they lose a key asset for promoting their goals. If, as is becoming increasingly clear, the Palestinian issue is not the heart of the problem, then the West’s expression of regret for its “crimes” on this issue will not solve the greater problem. The request for penance must be much more far-reaching; Iranian President Hassan Rouhani recently made dialogue with the United States conditional on an American request for Iran’s forgiveness. In addition, the more the connection between the two kinds of terror grows, the more the radical Islamic component of the Palestinian rejection of Israel’s existence as the democratic nation-state of the Jewish people and preference for a violent struggle to eliminate it, is exposed. The West would better understand how difficult it is to promote a settlement and may (as Israel would hope) come to understand that the terror against Israel is essentially part and parcel of the terror against the West.

Israel’s outlawing of the northern branch of the Israeli Islamic movement, which is the arm of realistic radical Islam among the Israeli Arabs, is part of the struggle against this radical ideology. Unfortunately, many in the West still think that realistic radical Islam (Rouhani and the Muslim Brotherhood, for example) is a legitimate partner in the fight against the ultra-radical Islamists, and favor it over the pragmatic elements in the Islamic world. I’m afraid that even the current wave of attacks will not suffice to change this mindset.

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In migration crisis, Israel is EU’s life belt

Op-ed: The tools used by European officials to deal with Israel belong to the days when the Middle East was stable and the Jewish state was perceived as a problem. But now, as millions of Muslims are moving towards the continent, Israel is actually the solution, or at least part of it.

658203401001599640360noYnet NewsOne of the governments in Libya (there are a few) warned the European Union this week that if it won’t recognize it, it will send hundreds of thousands of additional Muslim migrants towards Europe: “We’ll rent boats and transfer them too.”

And so the immigrant issue has become an extortion tool: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is milking the fat European cow, Libya is milking it, and so is the Islamic State which controls part of Libya and is threatening to launch a simultaneous expulsion process. And Europe is giving in, drowning in a sea of millions of infiltrators/refugees/immigrants who will never leave it.

The EU’s dream is that those immigrants will remain in their countries, or at least in other Muslim countries, and for that purpose it is willing to pay Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon billions of dollars. And what about Israel?

The EU doesn’t have to make things difficult for Israel. On the contrary, it should even pay us billions of dollars too, because Israel and “the conflict” keep at least 10 million Muslims busy and stop them from immigrating to Europe. We are doing the opposite of what those extortionists who are threatening the EU are doing.

We must understand that everything has changed. An area of hundreds of millions of Muslims realizes today that its default option is to immigrate to Europe, and what was perceived until recently as impossible or illogical is now logical, ideal and common.

We are “employing” a million and a half Muslims in Judea and Samaria, another million and a half within Israel, another two million in Gaza, another seven million in Jordan, and another two million refugees from Iraq and Syria who reside in Jordan, which is supported by us.

Without the Israeli security dam, a major part of all these millions would have already begun the journey to EU countries. Imagine what would happen if the Gaza Strip would be opened towards the sea: Where would most of its residents move to? After all, the millions here have an eternal UN and UNRWA “refugee certificate,” which the EU must recognize.

If EU officials hurt Israeli factories which employ tens of thousands of Palestinians, where will those employees turn to with their families? Some 20,000 Palestinians are already leaving Judea and Samaria every year, according to figures compiled by the Israeli Immigration Authority, which supervises the borders, and many of them flow to the world’s countries through Jordan.

EU officials must understand that the tools they are using to deal with Israel belong to the past, when the Middle East was stable and Israel was perceived as a problem. But now, as millions are moving towards the continent, Israel is actually the solution, or at least part of it. What isn’t stopped in Israel will be stopped in Brussels, Stockholm, Berlin, Paris and London. The EU’s life belt passes through Israel…

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