Swedish MEP: All EU funds to the Palestinian territories should be conditional

By Lars Adaktusson, a Swedish Member of the EU Parliament for the Christian Democratic Party:

Monies from the EU should be conditional on the PA’s renouncement of hate and incitement to violence.

IsraelNationalNews (Oct 28) — In the European Parliament, when the name of Israel is muttered, the next two words that usually follow are “settlements” and “occupation.”

The European Union’s obsession with Jewish settlement construction in the “West Bank” has been the main drive behind all the recent initiatives spearheaded by the European External Action Service (EEAS), starting with the EU Guidelines on Israeli entities based outside the Green Line from December 2013 and continuing with the EU labelling of products coming out of the settlements and other similar measures. They are also allegedly the main reason why some of my own colleagues sitting in the parliament are calling for a suspension of the Association Agreement with Israel.

Here in Europe, settlements are seen as the major stumbling block for the restart of peace talks. Admittedly, building new housing in the settlements does have a counterproductive effect when it comes to confidence building measures between the parties and I for one have pointed out the need to respect international law. However, the complex nature of the settlements, the differentiation between outposts and building housing in an area already agreed to be part of the land swaps are nuances that should be considered if you choose to tackle them as one of the core conflict issues.

The Quartet Principals meeting from Vienna last Friday and Mahmoud Abbas visit to Brussels on Monday are likely to produce a set of statements about measures that should be taken by both sides to de-escalate the tensions.  We don’t however expect them to tackle head-on a key and core issue of the conflict, that of Palestinian incitement. 

The ‘lone wolf’ attacks that we have witnessed in the last few weeks carried out against Israeli citizens have not only instilled a deep mistrust towards Israeli Arabs and East Jerusalem Arab residents, but have set the peace process way back. These attacks are symptomatic of a malaise in Palestinian society that the international partners, and Europe, in particular, have been trying to duck for several decades: Hate speech and incitement to violence.

For sure, this is not as quantifiable or traceable as housing construction in settlements, roadblocks or checkpoints, and yes, it will take a long-term policy oriented approach that the European governments have proven to date they lack an appetite for, particularly in matters of foreign affairs.  Nevertheless, hate speech and incitement to terror are at the core of the conflict as much as partition of land is.

The Government of Israel has been addressing the Palestinian concerns for the last couple of weeks: reiterating that they do not seek a change in the status-quo of the Al Aqsa mosque and calling for a restart of the peace process in the midst of bus attacks, car ramming killings, stabbings and stone throwing. This is not about perceptual politics, rather showing that as a government, your first duty is to protect the lives and welfare of all your citizens.

Mahmoud Abbas’ on the other hand comes from the opposite school of thought. He keeps being silent on condemning his own people when resorting to Islamic extremism and petitions UNESCO to make the Western Wall as part of the Al Aqsa compound on Temple Mount. How is this helping to calm things down? Mr Abbas’ rhetoric reminds us of something that we are starting to be familiar with also here in Europe, the rise of divisive populist politics. 

As with all politicians, myself included, our rhetoric needs to fall in line with what the population expects and demands of us. Let’s make the following mental exercise:  mute for a moment the TV commentators and let’s look at the images in front of our eyes. Why do Palestinians always seem to resort to inflammatory language and violence?

The EU should stop tiptoeing around this issue by continuing to make large wire transfers to the PA bank account in the hope that they know best how to deal with extremist elements in their society. We need to be assertive.

We need to support and facilitate activities and projects that foster respect for human values in Palestinian society whilst also ensuring that the rise of a new political class in the West Bank would put an end to the PA’s self-destructive playbook.

Extremist elements are gaining more and more ground amongst Israeli Arabs, in West Bank and Gaza.  We have all seen the clips released by Islamic State calling to “turn them (jews) into rotten corpses”, while Hamas is planning to carry suicide attacks from its cells in Hebron and Nablus.

Lastly, it is evident that Europe should not allow itself to be drawn into the blame game. However European leaders should call things as they are and stop the ever-present balancing act of politically correctness.

While we are engaged in state-building measures, with funds and expertise, we should condition all the EU funds for the territories on an actual Palestinian renouncement to hate and incitement to violence. Building a Palestinian society who will see cutting people’s throats as abhorrent as it is for any western society is not a pro-Israeli position. It falls into the oft forgotten category: the right thing to do.

Our aspiring mediators or policy trend-setters should do just that, make sure cool heads prevail and focus on issues that would actually make a difference, such as Palestinian reconciliation and measures that would strengthen a civil society ready to live in peace side by side.

Until it does that, I fear the PA playbook will continue to prevail.

MEP Lars Adaktusson is Vice Chair of the European Parliament Delegation for relations with Afghanistan and a member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs. Former Middle East correspondent for Swedish media, he is also one EIPA (Europe Israel Public Affairs) Advisory Board members.

Ending a Century of Palestinian Rejectionism

By Daniel Pipes for the Washington Times (Oct 28) — Palestinians are on the wrong track and will not get off it until the outside world demands better of them.

Hajj Amin al-Husseini inspecting Axis troops.

Hajj Amin al-Husseini inspecting Axis troops.

News comes every year or two of a campaign of violence spurred by Palestinian political and religious leaders spreading wild-eyed conspiracy theories (the favorite: Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem is under threat). A spasm of unprovoked violence against Israelis then follows: rocket attacks from Gaza, car-rammings in Israel proper, stone-throwing in the West Bank, street stabbings in Jerusalem. Eventually the paroxysm peters out, only to start up again not too much later.

True, these bouts of violence bring some gains to the Palestinians; in the United Nations, in faculty lounges, and on the streets of Western cities they win support against Israel. Each round ends, however, with the Palestinians in a worse place in terms of dead and wounded, buildings destroyed and an economy in tatters.

Further, their immoral and barbaric actions harden Israeli opinion, making the prospect of concessions and compromise that much less likely. The cheery Israeli hopes of two decades ago for a “partner for peace” and a “New Middle East” long ago gave way to a despair of finding acceptance. As a result, security fences are going up all over, even in Jerusalem, to protect Israelis who increasingly believe that separation, not cooperation, is the way forward.

It may be exhilarating for Palestinians to watch UNESCO condemn Israel for this and that, as it just did, but its actions serve more as theater than as practical steps toward conflict resolution.

Whence comes this insistence on self-defeating tactics?

It dates back nearly a century, to the seminal years 1920-21. In April 1920, as a gesture to the Zionists, the British government created a region called “Palestine” designed to be the eventual “national home for the Jewish people”; then, in May 1921, it appointed Amin al-Husseini (1895-1974) as mufti of Jerusalem, a dreadful decision whose repercussions still reverberate today.

Husseini harbored a monstrous hostility toward Jews; as Klaus Gensicke puts it in his important 2007 study, The Mufti of Jerusalem and the Nazis, Husseini’s “hatred of Jews knew no mercy and he always intervened with particular zeal whenever he feared that some of the Jews could escape annihilation.” Toward this end, he initiated an uncompromising campaign of rejectionism – the intent to eliminate every vestige of Jewish presence in Palestine – and used any and all tactics toward this foul end.

For example, he can be largely held responsibility for the Middle East’s endemic antisemitism, having spread the antisemitic forgery Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the blood libel, and Holocaust denial throughout the region. His other legacies include making Jerusalem into the flashpoint it remains today; spreading many of the anti-Zionist conspiracy theories that afflict the Middle East; and being one of the first Islamists to call for jihad.

He encouraged and organized unprovoked violence against the British and the Jews, including a three-year long intifada in 1936-39. Then he worked with the Nazis, living in Germany during the war years, 1941-45, proving so useful that he earned an audience with Hitler. Nor was this a courtesy visit; as Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu correctly pointed out on Oct. 20, Husseini had a central role in formulating the Final Solution that led eventually to the murder of six million Jews.

Husseini tutored his then-young relative, the future Yasir Arafat, and Arafat faithfully carried out the mufti’s program for 35 years, after which his apparatchik Mahmoud Abbas keeps the legacy alive. In other words, Husseini’s rejectionism still dominates the Palestinian Authority. In addition, he spent the post-war years in Egypt, where he influenced the Muslim Brotherhood whose its Hamas spin-off also bears his hallmark rejectionism. Thus do both principal Palestinian movements pursue his murderous and self-defeating methods.

Only when the Palestinians emerge from the cloud of Husseini’s dark legacy can they begin to work with Israel rather than fight it; build their own polity, society, economy, and culture rather than try to destroy Israel’s; and become a positive influence rather than the nihilistic force of today.

And how will that happen? If the outside world, as symbolized by UNESCO, stops encouraging the Palestinians’ execrable behavior and impeding Israeli defenses against it. Only when Palestinians realize they will not be rewarded for homicidal conduct will they stop their campaign of violence and start to come to terms with the Jewish state.

Mr. Pipes (DanielPipes.org, @DanielPipes) is president of the Middle East Forum.

Click here for original source.

Erdoğan Leads Turkey to the Precipice

Erdoğan Pasha as imagined by The Economist.

Erdoğan Pasha as imagined by The Economist.

By Daniel Pipes for the Autralian — The Republic of Turkey is undergoing possibly its greatest crisis since the founding of the state nearly a century ago. Present trends suggest worse to come as a long-time Western ally evolves into a hostile dictatorship.

The crisis results primarily from the ambitions of one very capable and sinister individual, Turkey’s 61-year old president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. A career politician who previously served four years as the mayor of Turkey’s megacity, Istanbul, and then eleven years as the country’s prime minister, he forwards two goals hitherto unknown in the republic: dictatorship and full application of the Shari’a, Islam’s law code.

During his first eight years of power, 2003-11, Erdoğan ruled with such finesse that one could only suspect these two aspirations; proof remained elusive. This author, for example, wrote an article in 2005 that weighed the contradictory evidence for and against Erdoğan being an Islamist. A combination of playing by the rules, caution in the Islamic arena, and economic success won Erdoğan’s party, Justice and Development (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi, or AKP), increasing percentages of the vote in parliamentary elections, going from 34 percent in 2002, to 46 percent in 2007, to 50 percent in 2011.

That 2011 election victory, his third in succession, gave Erdoğan the confidence finally to remove the armed forces from politics, where they had long served as Turkey’s ultimate power broker. Ironically, this change ended the increasing democratization of prior decades for his fully taking charge allowed Erdoğan to develop an oversized ego, to bare his fangs, flex his despotic muscles, and openly seek his twin objectives of tyranny and Shari’a.

Indeed, Erdoğan made his power felt in every domain after 2011. Banks provided loans to the businessmen who kicked back funds to the AKP. Hostile media found themselves subject to vast fines or physical assault. Ordinary citizens who criticized the leader found themselves facing lawsuits, fines, and jail. Politicians in competing parties faced dirty tricks. Like a latter-day sultan, Erdoğan openly flouted the law and intervened at will when and where he wished, inserting himself into legal proceedings, meddling in local decisions, and interfering with police investigations. For example, he responded to compelling raw evidence of his own and his family’s corruption by simply closing down the inquiry.

The Islamic order also took shape. School instruction became more Islamic even as Islamic schools proliferated, with the number of students in the latter jumping from 60,000 to 1,600,000, a 27-fold increase. Erdoğan instructed women to stay home and breed, demanding three children apiece from them. Burqas proliferated and hijabs became legal headgear in government buildings. Alcohol became harder to find and higher priced. More broadly, Erdoğan harked back to the piety of the Ottoman Empire (1299-1922), eroded the secular republic founded in 1923 by Kemal Atatürk, and positioned himself as the anti-Atatürk.

Erdoğan also faced some serious problems after 2011. The China-like economic growth slowed down and debt spiraled upwards. A disastrously inept Syria policy contributed to the rise of the Islamic State, the emergence of a hostile Kurdish autonomous area, and millions of unwelcome refugees flooding into Turkey. Foreign relations soured with nearly the entire neighborhood: Tehran, Baghdad, Damascus, Jerusalem, Cairo, Athens, the (Greek) Republic of Cyprus, and even (Turkish) northern Cyprus. Ties also went south with Washington, Moscow, and Beijing. Good relations were limited to Doha, Kuala Lumpur, and – until recently, as shown by the many indications of Turkish state support for the Islamic State – Raqqa.

When the Erdoğan era expires, the country will be much more divided than when it began in March 2003 between Turk and Kurd, Sunni and Alevi, pious and secular Sunnis, and rich and poor. It will contain millions of difficult to assimilate Syrian refugees and Kurdish areas declared independent of the state. It will be isolated internationally. It will contain a hollowed-out government structure. It will have lost the tradition of legal impartiality.

Erdoğan’s larger accomplishment will have been to reverse Atatürk’s Westernizing policies. Whereas Atatürk and several generations of leaders wanted Turkey to be in Europe, Erdoğan brought it thunderingly back to the Middle East and to the tyranny, corruption, female subjugation, and other hallmarks of a region in crisis. As Turks struggle over the years to undo this damage, they will have ample opportunity to ponder the many evils bequeathed them by Erdoğan.

Click here for full article.

The Hidden Hand behind the Palestinian Terror Wave

The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (Oct 25)

Arab disturbances along the Gaza-Israel border

Arab disturbances along the Gaza-Israel border

  • The wave of Palestinian terror against Israel is winning open support from all the Palestinian institutions including the PLO, the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, and the Hamas authorities who control Gaza.
  • The green light was given by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in his speech to the UN General Assembly on Sept. 30, in which he lauded Palestinian terror and threatened political chaos – that is, a descent into an all-out intifada-type conflict.
  • By unleashing Palestinian terror, Abbas hopes to bring about greater international intervention in the conflict, meant to pressure Israel to withdraw from the West Bank without negotiations.
  • The Palestinian struggle against Israel will then continue from the new borders under improved circumstances.

Click here for full article.

Ten Deadly Lies about Israel

By Ron Dermer, Israel’s Ambassador to the United States.

Politico Magazine (Oct 21) — As Israeli civilians are butchered by Palestinian terrorists, the truth about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is also being butchered by a campaign of vicious lies. Here are 10 of the most pernicious myths about the current attacks:

 

First: Israel is trying to change the status quo on the Temple Mount.

False. Israel stringently maintains the status quo on the Temple Mount. Last year some 3.5 million Muslims visited the Temple Mount alongside some 200,000 Christians and 12,000 Jews. Only Muslims are allowed to pray on the Mount, and non-Muslims may visit only at specified times, which have not changed. Though the Temple Mount is Judaism’s holiest site—where Solomon built his Temple some 3,000 years ago—Israel will not allow a change in the status quo. The ones trying to change the status quo are Palestinians, who are violently trying to prevent Jews and Christians from even visiting a site holy to all three faiths.

 

Second: Israel seeks to destroy al-Aqsa mosque.

False: Since reuniting Jerusalem in 1967, Israel has vigorously protected the holy sites of all faiths, including al-Aqsa. In the Middle East, where militant Islamists desecrate and destroy churches, synagogues, world heritage sites, as well as each other’s mosques, Israel is the only guarantor of Jerusalem’s holy places. Palestinians have been propagating the “al-Aqsa is in danger” myth since at least 1929, when the Palestinian icon, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini, used it to inspire the massacre of Jews in Hebron and elsewhere. Nearly a century later, the mosque remains unharmed, but the lie persists.

 

Third: A recent surge in settlement construction has caused the current wave of violence.

False. Annual construction in the settlements has substantially decreased over the past 15 years. Under Prime Minister Ehud Barak (2000), 5,000 new units were built in the settlements; under Prime Minister Ariel Sharon (2001-05) an average of 1,881; under Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (2005-08) 1,774. All three were hailed as peacemakers. What about under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (2009-15)? Just 1,554. Some surge.

 

Fourth: President Abbas says that Israel “executed” the innocent Palestinian Ahmed Manasra.

False: Manasra is neither innocent nor dead. He stabbed a 13-year-old Jewish boy who was riding his bicycle. Manasra has been discharged from the same hospital where his victim continues to fight for his life.

 

Fifth: Israel uses excessive force in dealing with terrorist attacks.

False: Using force to stop an attack by a gun, knife, cleaver or ax-wielding terrorist is legitimate self-defense. Israeli police officers are subject to strict rules that govern the use of deadly force, which is permitted only in life-threatening situations. How would the American public expect its police to respond to terrorists stabbing passersby as well as police officers?

 

Sixth: The current violence is the result of stagnation in the peace process.

False: Israel experienced some of the worst terrorism in its history when the peace process was at its peak. The reason for Palestinian terrorism is neither progress nor stagnation in the peace process, but the desire of the terrorists to destroy Israel.

 

Seventh: President Abbas is a voice of moderation.

False: Abbas said on September 16 that he welcomes “every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem.” Abbas has not condemned a single one of the 30 terror attacks on Israelis over the past month. He and his Fatah movement continue to use the Web and the airwaves to incite the Palestinians to even more violence.

 

Eighth: International action is required to enforce the status quo on the Temple Mount.

False. Israel enforces the status quo. The international community can help most effectively by telling the truth and affirming Israel’s proven commitment to maintaining the status quo. It can also help by holding Abbas accountable for his mendacious rhetoric regarding the Temple Mount.

 

Ninth: The reason the conflict and the violence persist is because the Palestinians don’t have a state.

False: The Palestinians have repeatedly refused to accept a nation-state for themselves if it means accepting a nation-state for the Jewish people alongside it. In 1937, the Palestinians rejected the Peel Commission report that called for two states for two peoples; in 1947, they rejected the U.N. partition plan that did the same. In 2000 at Camp David and again in 2008 the Palestinians rejected new proposals that would have created a Palestinian state. The Palestinians rejected peace both before and after the creation of Israel, before Israel gained control of the territories in 1967 and after Israel vacated Gaza in 2005. The Palestinians have always been more concerned with destroying the Jewish state than with creating a state of their own. The core of the conflict remains the persistent refusal of the Palestinians to recognize the nation-state of the Jewish people in any borders.

 

Tenth: Palestinian terrorism is the consequence of Palestinian frustration.

False: Palestinian terrorism is the product of incitement, which inculcates a culture of hatred and violence in successive generations. The biggest frustration of the terrorists is that they have failed to destroy Israel. They will continue to be frustrated.

Click here for original source.

Videos teach would-be Palestinian attackers ‘how to stab’

Graphic photos and footage posted to social media include detailed instructions for maximizing bodily damage

An anatomical chart posted on Facebook by Gazan Zahran Barbah on October 8, showing which parts of the body to aim for when stabbing a victim. (Courtesy of MEMRI)

An anatomical chart posted on Facebook by Gazan Zahran Barbah on October 8, showing which parts of the body to aim for when stabbing a victim. (Courtesy of MEMRI)

The Times of Israel — As Israel faces a wave of terror attacks — eight Israelis have been killed in over 30 attacks during the last month — social media has increasingly emerged as a platform for Palestinian incitement and calls for violence.

In addition to praising the attacks and urging more of the same, a number of Palestinian activists have posted content with advice and instructions on how to carry out attacks.

Videos and photos posted to Facebook and Twitter show detailed instructional guidance on how to stab Israelis, methods for maximum bodily damage, and ways to create deadly weapons to carry out attacks.

The posts have been published under various headings created in recent weeks such as “The Intifada Has Started,” “The Third Intifada,” “The Knife Intifada,” “Poison the Knife before You Stab,” and “Slaughtering the Jews,” according to information made available by the Middle East Media Research Institute.

Multiple Facebook pages, including one called “Intifada Youth Coalition – Palestine,” posted a video two weeks ago demonstrating how to carry out a deadly stabbing.

Some posts show potential stabbers how to make their attacks more deadly. On Wednesday a Gazan user named Zahran Barbah posted an anatomical chart showing which parts of the body to aim for when stabbing a victim.

In another trend, instructional videos have given information on how to adapt ordinary kitchen knives into deadly attack weapons.

Two weeks ago YouTube removed a video from its website that appeared to encourage stabbing attacks against Jews and Israelis after Israel’s Foreign Ministry complained that the clip promoted terror.

In a letter to YouTube’s parent company, Google, Jerusalem officials said the posted clips contained “violent and inciting content in which terrorists are praised and their acts staged in videos to promote further violence against Israelis and Jews.”

Click here for full article.

Click here for more examples of instructional videos and pictures on “how to stab Jews” compiled by MEMRI, the Middle East Media Research Institute.

In European coverage of Israel, confusion over who is attacking whom

Some news outlets have shown skewed footage of stabbing incidents, misrepresented facts in articles

Police and rescue personnel at the scene of a terror attack in Ra'anana on October 13, 2015. (FLASH90)

Police and rescue personnel at the scene of a terror attack in Ra’anana on October 13, 2015. (FLASH90)

The Times of Israel — At an Israeli bus station, several uniformed officers surround an Arab woman before opening fire on her, dropping her to the ground. Standing over her motionless body, a Border Police officer toting an automatic rifle speaks into a radio while another officer chases away a bystander documenting the scene on his cellphone.

That’s how the Dutch public broadcaster NOS presented an October 9 incident in the northern city of Afula, in which Israeli officers shot and arrested Asraa Zidan Tawfik Abed, an Arab Israeli woman from Nazareth who the police said had tried to stab a soldier at the city’s main bus station.

NOS used only 13 seconds of the 52-second cellphone video, dispensing with footage that showed Abed holding the knife aloft and making stabbing motions while officers shouted at her to drop the weapon. The full video also showed Abed alive despite being shot.

Marcel Gelauff, the chief editor at NOS News, defended his network’s coverage of the incident, telling JTA that it was not aiming to provide “a clear and detailed picture” of what transpired, but rather “an impression of a few events.” Gelauff added that NOS regularly receives complaints of perceived bias from both sides and noted that the title of the segment, “Violence in Israel is expanding,” demonstrates that “we are dealing with growing violence from both sides.”

But critics of European media coverage of Israel say the choice not to show the full video is emblematic of how missing or misleading context distorts public perceptions of the recent upsurge in violence in the region — mostly to Israel’s disadvantage.

“No media in Europe have recognized who’s attacking whom, to my knowledge,” said Simon Plosker, the Israel-based managing editor of HonestReporting.com, which monitors international news coverage of Israel. “Palestinians who are carrying out the attacks are being portrayed as victims who are presumably being driven to desperate measures by Israeli policies.”

On the website of London’s Daily Mail, a right-leaning tabloid, the Afula footage was presented under the headline “Amateur footage shows Palestinian woman executed in Afula,” though “executed” was later changed to “shot.” The paper posted 39 seconds of the video — enough to show the standoff with Abed, but not enough to see that Abed was still alive after being shot.

The BBC also changed a headline in its coverage of the recent violence. The story was about a Palestinian who was killed by Israeli security forces after stabbing two Israelis to death. Initially the headline read “Palestinian shot dead after Jerusalem attack kills two.” Following complaints, the BBC changed it to “Jerusalem: Palestinian kills two Israelis in Old City.”

… In Norway, the online edition of the country’s second-largest newspaper, Verdens Gang, informed its readers on October 10 that “a Palestinian was killed in East Jerusalem” in the headline of an article that also noted that the Palestinian died while stabbing a Jew.

Other recent headlines in leading Norwegian media included “2 teenagers killed by Israeli forces,” “20 Palestinians died in October” and “2 knife attacks committed on Friday.”

To Eric Argaman, a pro-Israel activist from Oslo, the trend in coverage shows that some European media outlets will “do anything” to fit the facts to an enshrined narrative of Israeli aggression.

“I don’t blame Norwegians for being one of the most anti-Israel countries in Europe,” Argaman said. “The right to the truth has been robbed from the public.”

Click here for full article.

What Do Palestinian Terrorists Want?

By Bassam Tawil for the Gatestone Institute (Oct 15):

  • Palestinian terrorists are not driven by poverty and deprivation, as many have long argued. Instead, they are driven by hatred for Jews — because of what their leaders, media and mosques are telling them.
  • These young people took advantage of their status as permanent residents of Israel to set out and murder Jews. Their Israeli ID cards allow them to travel freely inside Israel. They were also entitled to the social welfare benefits and free healthcare granted to all Israeli citizens.
  • Muhannad Halabi wanted to murder Jews because he had been brainwashed by our leaders and media, and was driven by hatred — he was not living in misery and deprivation. The family’s house in the village of Surda, on the outskirts of Ramallah, looks as if it came out of a movie filmed in San Diego.
  • This conflict is not about Islamic holy sites or Jerusalem. Murdering a Jewish couple in front of their four children has nothing to do with the Aqsa Mosque or “occupation.”
  • For the terrorists, all Jews are “settlers” and Israel is one big settlement. This is not an intifada — it is just another killing-spree aimed at terrorizing the Jews and forcing them out of this part of the world. It already succeeded in the rest of the Middle East and is now being done there to the Christians as well.
  • The current wave of terrorism is just another phase in our dream to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. The terrorists and their supporters are not struggling against a checkpoint or a wall. They want to see Israel destroyed, Jews slaughtered, and the streets of Israel running with Jewish blood.

Click here for full article.

Jews are being killed simply for being Jews

This is one of the best articles I’ve ever read explaining Palestinian terrorism.

“The murders of Israelis on a bus yesterday continue decades of violence by Arabs against the innocent”

Palestinian students hold up axes during an anti-Israel protest in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah   Photo: Said Khatib /AFP

Palestinian students hold up axes during an anti-Israel protest in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah Photo: Said Khatib /AFP

The Telegraph (UK) (Oct 15) —  On Tuesday, several Israelis were shot and stabbed on a bus in Jerusalem, with three confirmed dead. Many others were left in a critical condition. When such horrific events occur, it is natural to try to make sense of them, and to ask: “Why did this happen?”

My family has been asking this question for generations. I think back to the burning of my great-great grandparents’ house in 1929, during anti-Jewish riots in Hebron: 133 Jews were killed in one week by Arab rioters, as students were massacred in a yeshiva. These attacks did not take place in a vacuum. Local Arab media at the time published inflammatory articles, raging against the rights of Jews to pray at the site of the Western Wall in Jerusalem. A flier by the “Committee of Holy Warriors in Palestine” was distributed, claiming that Jews had violated the honour of Islam. The British government-backed Palestine Inquiry Commission concluded that there was “no excuse” for the spate of murders.

I think back to 1936, when the house of my great-grandparents in Jaffa was burned down by Arab rioters, forcing them to flee to Tel Aviv. I think back to 1939, when my father’s cousin was murdered, when he was aged just eight. Zalman Naeh was shot in his stomach by Arab terrorists while travelling on a bus from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem: he was the last Jewish victim of terror in British Mandate Palestine before the outbreak of the Second World War.

Why was he shot? What prompted all these acts of terror? Was it the Israeli “occupation” – which did not exist at the time? Was it the policies of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, even though he was not yet born? Was it frustration about the peace process?

Or was it because little Zalman was a Jew, and how dare he sit on a bus? So tell me again, why were the people on the bus murdered yesterday morning?

The common factor in all these attacks down the decades is the presence of Jews in the land of Israel and their right of self-determination. That is at the root of the killings. Yet through all the years, this simple reason has been curiously overlooked. Even on November 29 1947, the very day that the United Nations voted in favour of the Partition Plan to create neighbouring Jewish and Arab states in British Mandate Palestine, shots were fired at an ambulance carrying my aunt – a Holocaust survivor – on her way to give birth to my cousin. Then, as now, the very presence of Jews in the land of Israel appeared to be the root cause of terrorist violence against them.

One myth in particular has shown itself evergreen: the idea that Jews are trying to undermine Islam and its holy sites in Jerusalem. We have heard the lie that “Al Aqsa is in danger” since the 1920s, when the Palestinian leader Haj Amin Al-Husseini tried to stir up local rioters against Jews, inciting them to murder. Husseini would distribute pamphlets saying: “O Arabs! Do not forget that the Jew is your worst enemy and has been the enemy of your forefathers.”

Last month, President Abbas called on Jews not to put their “filthy feet” on the Temple Mount, again inciting anti-Jewish violence. Yet when Palestinian activists use this revered holy site as a temporary base from which to attack Israelis – piling up rocks, fireworks and explosives – it is they who desecrate the place.

Those making libellous claims about Israel and Al Aqsa today ignore the fact that 3.5 million Muslims visited the site last year, compared to 200,000 Christians and just 12,500 Jews. Indeed, Israel has maintained a delicate status quo since 1967, when it regained control of the Old City of Jerusalem, and handed back the administration of the Muslim holy sites to Islamic administrators known as the Waqf. Israel is determined not to let the status quo change, and has recently banned politicians from any visits to the site, in order to calm tensions.

But ultimately, what we are seeing is not about religious rights or land. It is about the same old issue. This is the issue that people least want to discuss but which most needs to be discussed. The excuse may change with the passing years. But the reality is that, be it 1921, 1929, 1936 or 2015, Jews are being murdered simply for being Jews.

Eitan Na’eh is Israel’s Acting Ambassador to Great Britain

Click here for original source.

“Palestine:” The Psychotic Stage

The truth about why Palestinians have been seized by their present blood lust.

how-to-stab-a-jewBret Stephens for the Wall Street Journal (Oct 13) — If you’ve been following the news from Israel, you might have the impression that “violence” is killing a lot of people. As in this headline: “Palestinian Killed As Violence Continues.” Or this first paragraph: “Violence and bloodshed radiating outward from flash points in Jerusalem and the West Bank appear to be shifting gears and expanding, with Gaza increasingly drawn in.”

Read further, and you might also get a sense of who, according to Western media, is perpetrating “violence.” As in: “Two Palestinian Teenagers Shot by Israeli Police,” according to one headline. Or: “Israeli Retaliatory Strike in Gaza Kills Woman and Child, Palestinians Say,” according to another.

Such was the media’s way of describing two weeks of Palestinian assaults that began when Hamas killed a Jewish couple as they were driving with their four children in the northern West Bank. Two days later, a Palestinian teenager stabbed two Israelis to death in Jerusalem’s Old City, and also slashed a woman and a 2-year-old boy. Hours later, another knife-wielding Palestinian was shot and killed by Israeli police after he slashed a 15-year-old Israeli boy in the chest and back…

Regarding the causes of this Palestinian blood fetish, Western news organizations have resorted to familiar tropes. Palestinians have despaired at the results of the peace process—never mind that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas just declared the Oslo Accords null and void. Israeli politicians want to allow Jews to pray atop the Temple Mount—never mind that Benjamin Netanyahudenies it and has barred Israeli politicians from visiting the site. There’s always the hoary “cycle of violence” formula that holds nobody and everybody accountable at one and the same time.

Left out of most of these stories is some sense of what Palestinian leaders have to say. As in these nuggets from a speech Mr. Abbas gave last month: “Al Aqsa Mosque is ours. They [Jews] have no right to defile it with their filthy feet.” And: “We bless every drop of blood spilled for Jerusalem, which is clean and pure blood, blood spilled for Allah.”

Then there is the goading of the Muslim clergy. “Brothers, this is why we recall today what Allah did to the Jews,” one Gaza imam said Friday in a recorded address, translated by the invaluable Middle East Media Research Institute, or Memri. “Today, we realize why the Jews build walls. They do not do this to stop missiles but to prevent the slitting of their throats.”

Then, brandishing a six-inch knife, he added: “My brother in the West Bank: Stab!”

Imagine if a white minister in, say, South Carolina preached this way about African-Americans, knife and all: Would the news media be supine in reporting it? Would we get “both sides” journalism of the kind that is pro forma when it comes to Israelis and Palestinians, with lengthy pieces explaining—and implicitly justifying—the minister’s sundry grievances, his sense that his country has been stolen from him?

And would this be supplemented by the usual fake math of moral opprobrium, which is the stock-in-trade of reporters covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? In the Middle East version, a higher Palestinian death toll suggests greater Israeli culpability. (Perhaps Israeli paramedics should stop treating stabbing victims to help even the score.) In a U.S. version, should the higher incidence of black-on-white crime be cited to “balance” stories about white supremacists?

Didn’t think so.

Treatises have been written about the media’s mind-set when it comes to telling the story of Israel. We’ll leave that aside for now. The significant question is why so many Palestinians have been seized by their present blood lust—by a communal psychosis in which plunging knives into the necks of Jewish women, children, soldiers and civilians is seen as a religious and patriotic duty, a moral fulfillment. Despair at the state of the peace process, or the economy? Please. It’s time to stop furnishing Palestinians with the excuses they barely bother making for themselves.

Above all, it’s time to give hatred its due. We understand its explanatory power when it comes to American slavery, or the Holocaust. We understand it especially when it is the hatred of the powerful against the weak. Yet we fail to see it when the hatred disturbs comforting fictions about all people being basically good, or wanting the same things for their children, or being capable of empathy.

Today in Israel, Palestinians are in the midst of a campaign to knife Jews to death, one at a time. This is psychotic. It is evil. To call it anything less is to serve as an apologist, and an accomplice.

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Gaza cleric calls on Palestinians to stab Jews

Sheikh Muhammad Sallah, brandishing knife during Friday sermon, calls on young men in West Bank to form ‘stabbing squads’

A Gaza cleric calls on Palestinians to carry out more stabbing attacks against Jews, in a sermon on Friday, October 9, 2015, in a translation made available by MEMRI. Screenshot/ MEMRI)

A Gaza cleric calls on Palestinians to carry out more stabbing attacks against Jews, in a sermon on Friday, October 9, 2015, in a translation made available by MEMRI. Screenshot/ MEMRI)

The Times of Israel (Oct 12) — A Gaza-based cleric gave a sermon at a Rafah mosque this past Friday encouraging Palestinians to stab Jews amid a surging wave of terror that has seen near-daily stabbing attacks against Israelis since the beginning of this month.

Brandishing a knife of his own during the speech at the Al-Abrar Mosque, Sheikh Muhammad Sallah called on Palestinians in East Jerusalem and the West Bank to “attack in threes and fours” and “cut them into body parts.”

“My brother in the West Bank: Stab! My brother is the West Bank: Stab the myths of the Talmud in their minds! My brother in the West Bank: Stab the myths about the temple in their hearts!” Sallah cries out while wielding the knife and making stabbing motions, according to a translation made available by the Middle East Media Research Institute which also provided a video of the sermon.

Seemingly delighted with the recent surge in stabbing attacks which have killed 4 Israelis and injured 31 in 17 separate assaults, Sallah encouraged the formation of “stabbing quads.”

“We don’t want just a single stabber. Oh young men of the West Bank: Attack in threes and fours. Some should restrain the victim, while others attack him with axes and butcher knives, he said.

“Do not fear what will be said about you. Oh men of the West Bank, next time, attack in a group of three, four, or five. Attack them in groups. Cut them into body parts,” he went on.

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Why is the world ignoring a wave of terror in Israel?

Attacks like these do not occur in a vacuum. Such acts of pitiless slaughter are the direct result of a pervasive Palestinian infrastructure

 Palestinian men throw stones at Israeli soldiers during riots at the Qalandia checkpoint near Ramallah Photo: EPA/ OLIVER WEIKEN

Palestinian men throw stones at Israeli soldiers during riots at the Qalandia checkpoint near Ramallah Photo: EPA/ OLIVER WEIKEN

The Telegraph UK (Oct 11) — In the last week, my country, Israel, including our capital, the Holy City of Jerusalem, have come under an unprecedented wave of Palestinian terror.

A week ago, Eitam and Na’ama Henkin were brutally executed by Palestinian terrorists point-blank in their car. Their four children, Matan, 9, Nitzan, 7, Neta, 4, and Itamar, 9 months old, who are now orphaned, were still in the back seat and miraculously unharmed. Their lives are now irreparably altered.

Days later, two more Israelis were stabbed to death in Jerusalem. One of the men killed was holding his two year old child at the time. More lives and families torn apart.

Two weeks ago, Alexander Levlovitz, who was on his way home after Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) dinner, was murdered when Palestinian youths threw rocks at his car and he lost control.

Over the past 48 hours in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and virtually all parts of Israel, we have had over 150 terror attacks, including stabbings, shootings, stones thrown and vehicular rammings.

Yet somehow the international community is silent in the face of this terror onslaught against my people. Is our blood cheaper? Do Jewish lives not matter?

Let there be no mistakes, ifs, buts or maybes. We are being targeted for one reason and one reason only: we are Jews.

I understand Europe has a number of pressing concerns, including Islamic State and the wave of Syrian refugees, but what about us? Do we not count?

Many leaders, especially in Europe, are quick to condemn Israeli settlements, yet sure take their time to utter a muddied, equivocal word of condemnation against these terror attacks. Likewise human rights groups such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty.

Then I look at some of the media reporting on these attacks, such as that from the BBC, and ask myself how on earth they can twist the facts and logic beyond a semblance of recognition to actually place the blame on Israel.

Even more exasperating are those international leaders who, after only noticing the situation when Israel has the audacity to defend itself, then predictably call for us to exercise “restraint”. Excuse me? Restraint?

Imagine for a moment if people were being mown down with cars, guns or knives by Islamic terrorists on the streets of central London, Paris, Washington or Moscow. How would leaders of those countries react?

Where are all those so-called enlightened liberals, who continue to call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against the Jewish State, but are silent in the face of Palestinian terror against Jews?

Israelis, like all people, have the right to live in safety and security, free from terror. And our government and security forces have an obligation to take whatever action necessary to ensure this.

The tension across Israel, especially Jerusalem, is increasingly palpable. Somehow this wave of terror feels different to last summer’s rocket barrage from Hamas. At least then we had the Iron Dome and time (albeit only 15 seconds) to find shelter. But it is something much more intimate and personal when a terrorist singles you out to kill you in cold-blood.

Many commentators and pundits are calling these “lone wolf” attacks. But how many lone wolf attacks does it take to constitute a co-ordinated wave of terror?

The bottom line is that attacks like these do not occur in a vacuum. Such acts of pitiless slaughter are the direct result of a pervasive Palestinian infrastructure headed by PA President Mahmoud Abbas, indoctrinating hate, inciting violence and instilling a worldview justifying such gruesome acts.

Barely a week ago, Abbas gave an incendiary speech before the plenary of the United Nations General Assembly, all but giving a green light to this wave of terror.

In a speech on Palestinian TV on September 16th, Abbas proudly stated “we bless every drop of blood spilled for Jerusalem. With the help of Allah, every shaheed (martyr) will be in heaven.” He then added “Al-Aksa is ours and so is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. They [Jews] have no right to desecrate them with their filthy feet.”

And people still wonder where these terrorists get their motivation.

Not only has the Palestinian Authority failed to condemn these barbaric terror attacks, they have now, incredibly, sought to condemn Israel for defending ourselves. Abbas is surely giving new meaning to the term “chutzpah”. Is this really a sign of a leader who yearns for peace?

Only when the Palestinian leadership unequivocally renounces terrorism and roots out and condemns all those who preach violence against Israel and hatred of the Jewish people, can there be hope for real peace.

As the PA continues to insist that the world recognize a Palestinian state, one must ask exactly what type of state it wants: one that teaches the virtues of peace, or incites and glorifies terror?

In a groundbreaking speech on Islamic extremism this July, the British Prime Minister David Cameron made clear, if you say “violence in London isn’t justified, but suicide bombs in Israel are a different matter” – then you too are part of the problem.”

To all those people who fail to condemn this Palestinian terror, or find ways to excuse, equivocate or minimize it, I say the same – “then you too are part of the problem.”

Arsen Ostrovsky is an international human rights lawyer living in Israel

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Mahmoud Abbas Calls for Murder, Palestinians Attack

Khaled Abu Toameh, an Arab Muslim, is a veteran award-winning journalist who has been covering Palestinian affairs for nearly three decades.

Official Palestinian Authority media outlets incite Palestinians, from a young age, to murder Jews. (Image source: Palestinian Media Watch)

Official Palestinian Authority media outlets incite Palestinians, from a young age, to murder Jews. (Image source: Palestinian Media Watch)

Gatestone Institute (Oct 10)

  • The terrorists did not need permission from Hamas leaders to murder the first Jews they ran into. The inflammatory rhetoric of Abbas and Palestinian Authority (PA) officials and media outlets was sufficient to drive any Palestinian to go out and murder Jews.
  • Instead of condemning the murder of the Jews, the PA denounced Israel for killing the two Palestinians who carried out the Jerusalem attacks.
  • The Palestinian Authority and its leaders are in no position today to condemn the murder of any Jews, simply because the PA itself has been encouraging such terrorist attacks through its ceaseless campaign of incitement against Israel.
  • The PA is playing a double game: it tells the world that it wants peace and coexistence with Israel; meanwhile it incites Palestinians against Israel, driving some to set out with guns and knives to murder Jews.
  • Although Abbas has repeatedly stated during the past few years that he does not want another intifada against Israel, his statements and actions show that he is doing his utmost to spark another wave of violence, in order to invite international pressure on Israel.

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PA paying convicted murderers imprisoned by Israel

Hundreds of thousands of dollars given to Hamas terrorists serving multiple life sentences, report says

Abdullah Barghouti is taken to Jerusalem Magistrate's Court to testify as part of a US civil lawsuit against the Palestinian leadership, on June 20, 2012. (Noam Moskowitz / Flash90)

Abdullah Barghouti is taken to Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court to testify as part of a US civil lawsuit against the Palestinian leadership, on June 20, 2012. (Noam Moskowitz / Flash90)

Times of Israel (Oct 7) — Official Palestinian government documents published by Israel Radio on Tuesday showed hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments to prisoners convicted in some of the deadliest attacks on Israelis.

The report came after days of violent clashes and repeated Israeli accusations of Palestinian incitement to violence.

Israel Radio said the documents reveal that hefty sums have been given to murderers serving out multiple life sentences in Israeli prisons.

Individuals who received funds from the Palestinian Authority include members of the PA security forces who were implicated in terrorist attacks against Israelis during the Second Intifada, as well as senior Hamas members serving time in Israeli prisons.

Abdullah Barghouti, a Hamas commander and bomb-maker serving 67 life terms for his involvement in several terror attacks, including the bombing of the Sbarro restaurant in Jerusalem in August 2001 that killed 15 Israelis and wounded some 130, has received over NIS 250,000 ($64,000) from the Palestinian Authority, the report said.

Palestinians have long acknowledged paying support to the families of prisoners held by Israel, but payments made personally to prisoners convicted in deadly attacks have never been made public.

Ashraf al-Ajrami, a former Palestinian minister for prisoners affairs, confirmed the report, saying the prisoners are “heroes” and the money is for their families.

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Mahmoud Abbas’s Trap: The Big Bluff

Khaled Abu Toameh, an Arab Muslim, is a veteran award-winning journalist who has been covering Palestinian affairs for nearly three decades.

Gatestone Institute (Oct 4):

  • Those who rushed to declare the death of the Oslo Accords fell into Abbas’s trap.
  • Abbas’s threats are mainly designed to scare the international community into pressuring Israel to offer Abbas more concessions. He is hoping that inaccurate headlines concerning the purported abrogation of the Oslo Accords will cause panic in Washington and European capitals, prompting world leaders to demand that Israel give Abbas everything he asks for.
  • Abbas knows that cancelling the agreements with Israel would mean dissolving his Palestinian Authority, and the end of his political career.
  • The tens of thousands of Arab refugees now seeking asylum in Europe could not care less about the “occupation” and settlements.
  • Ironically, Abbas declared that, “We are working on spreading the culture of peace and coexistence between our people and in our region.” But his harsh words against Israel, in addition to continued anti-Israel incitement in the Palestinian media, prove that he is moving in the opposite direction. This form of incitement destroys any chance of peace.

After weeks of threatening to drop a bombshell during his speech before the UN General Assembly, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas on September 30 proved once again that he is an expert in the art of bluffing.

In the end, the bombshell he and his aides promised to detonate at the UN turned out to be a collection of old threats to abrogate signed agreements and a smear campaign against Israel.

There was nothing dramatic or new in Abbas’s speech. During the past few years, he and some of his aides have been openly talking about the possibility of cancelling the Oslo Accords if Israel does not fulfill its obligations towards the peace process.

In his speech, Abbas repeated the same threat, although some Western political analysts and journalists misinterpreted it as an announcement that he was abrogating signed agreements with Israel.

Now, it is obvious that the talk about a bombshell was mainly intended to create tension and suspense ahead of Abbas’s speech. This is a practice that Abbas and his aides have become accustomed to using during the past few years in order to draw as much attention as possible.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas addresses the UN General Assembly, on September 26, 2014. (Image source: UN)

The threat to cancel the Oslo Accords with Israel is not different from other threats that Abbas and his aides have made over the past few years. How many times has Abbas threatened in the past to resign from his post or suspend security coordination with Israel? In the end, he did not carry out any of these threats.

Abbas is unlikely, also this time, to carry out his latest threat to cancel the agreements with Israel. He knows that such a move would mean dissolving his Palestinian Authority and the end of his political career. But Abbas would like the world to believe that he has already cancelled the Oslo Accords. Judging from the inaccurate headlines in the international media, he seems to have achieved his goal.

Now, many in the international community are falsely convinced that Abbas has annulled all signed agreements with Israel. Those who rushed to declare the death of the Oslo Accords fell into Abbas’s trap.

Abbas’s threats are mainly designed to scare the international community into pressuring Israel to offer Abbas more concessions. He is hoping that the inaccurate headlines concerning the purported abrogation of the Oslo Accords will cause panic in Washington and European capitals, prompting world leaders to demand that Israel give Abbas everything he is asking for.

Abbas is also hoping that his recurring threats will put the Israeli-Palestinian conflict back at the world’s center stage. Abbas and the Palestinians feel that the world has lost interest in the conflict, largely due to the ongoing turmoil in the Arab world, the refugee crisis in Europe and the growing threat of the Islamic State terror group.

… Of course, there is no direct link between Israeli “occupation” and settlements and the growing threat of radical Islam or the turmoil in the Arab world. The Islamic State is not beheading Muslims and non-Muslims because of the settlements or “occupation.” The Islamic State is not committing all these atrocities because it wants to “liberate Palestine.” Its main objective is to conquer the world after killing all the “infidels” in order to establish a sharia-ruled caliphate. The Islamic State would kill Erekat and Abbas — and many other Muslims — on its way to achieve its goal. In the eyes of the Islamic State, folks like Erekat and Abbas are a fifth column and traitors.

But instead of supporting the world’s war against the Islamic State and radical Islam, Abbas and Erekat want the international community to look the other way and devote all its energies and attention to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The tens of thousands of Arab refugees who are now seeking asylum in several European countries could not care less about the “occupation” and settlements. These people have lost everything they used to possess and their only dream is to either return to their homes and lands safely or start a new life in Europe and the US.

Abbas wanted worldwide attention in wake of the international community’s preoccupation with the refugee crisis and the radical Islam threat. For now, he appears to have achieved his goal, largely thanks to the international community’s misreading of his speech at the United Nations.

But while everyone is busy talking about Abbas’s bombshell, only a few have noticed that his speech consisted mostly of anti-Israel rhetoric that is likely to aggravate tensions between the Palestinians and Israel. Abbas used the UN General Assembly podium to make grave charges against Israel concerning “apartheid,” settlements and tensions on the Temple Mount. His fiery rhetoric, which has been partially welcomed by Hamas and other radical Palestinian groups, is likely to exacerbate tensions between Israelis and Palestinians and encourage more Palestinians to engage in violence.

It is this form of incitement that destroys any chance of peace between Israel and the Palestinians. This is the kind of rhetoric that prompts Palestinian youths to take to the streets and throw rocks and firebombs at Israeli civilians and policemen. Still, the international media, by and large, chose to ignore this destructive part of Abbas’s speech.

Ironically, Abbas declared in his speech that, “We are working on spreading the culture of peace and coexistence between our people and in our region.” But his harsh words against Israel, in addition to continued anti-Israel incitement in the Palestinian media, prove that he is moving in the opposite direction. As Abbas was addressing the UN General Assembly, some of his loyalists in Ramallah threatened and expelled Israeli Jewish journalists who came to interview Palestinians. This is certainly not a way to spread a “culture of peace and coexistence.”

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An Islamic Caliphate in Seven Easy Steps

This article was published in 2005 but is more relevant now than ever. A Jordanian journalist who spent with Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq from 2004-2006, outlined al-Qaeda’s plan to achieve a world wide Caliphate in 7 steps. They are currently at step 6.

The Future of Terrorism: What al-Qaida Really Wants” by Yassin Musharbash for Spiegel Online, August 12, 2005:

If there is anyone who might possibly have an inkling as to what al-Qaida are up to, it is the Jordanian journalist Fouad Hussein. He has not only spent time in prison with al-Zarqawi, but has also managed make contact with many of the network’s leaders. Based on correspondence with these sources, he has now brought out a book detailing the organization’s master plan.

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is blamed for some of the worst terrorist attacks and hostage killings in Iraq.

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is blamed for some of the worst terrorist attacks and hostage killings in Iraq.

There must be something particularly trustworthy about the Jordanian journalist Fouad Hussein. After all, he has managed to get some of the the most sought after terrorists to open up to him. Maybe it helped that they spent time together in prison many years ago — when Hussein was a political prisoner he successfully negotiated for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi to be released from solitary confinement. Or is it because of the honest and direct way in which he puts his ideas onto paper? Whatever the reason, the result is that a film which Hussein made about al-Zarqawi has even been shown on al-Qaida affiliated Web sites. “That showed me that they at least felt understood,” the journalist says.

Even for an Arab journalist it is no easy matter getting in touch with al-Qaida’s inner circle. Nevertheless, Hussein, who is based in Amman, Jordan, has succeeded in turning his correspondence with the terrorists into a remarkable book: “al-Zarqawi – al-Qaida’s Second Generation.”

If you meet Hussein, as you might when he is relaxing in Amman’s Café Vienna, you see he is calm and laid-back, without any of the glamour of a secret service spy. But what this small, slim man has to report is nothing less than the world’s most dangerous terrorist network’s plan of action: al-Qaida’s strategy for the next two decades. It is both frightening and absurd, a lunatic plan conceived by fanatics who live in their own world, but who continually manage to break into the real world with their brutal acts of violence.

One of Hussein’s most sensational sources for the book, according to what he told SPIEGEL Online, was Seif al-Adl. The Egyptian terrorist, who is suspected of taking part in the attacks on the American Embassies in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi in 1998, has a ransom of US$5 million on his head from the FBI. Secret services suspect that al-Adl is now in Iran.

To prove that he really has had contact to al-Adl, Hussein includes in the first two pages of the book a copy of a hand-written letter the wanted man sent to the author. In the original document, which is 15 pages long, al-Adl describes the disagreements between al-Zarqawi and Osama bin Laden during the Afghanistan war. “Statements from Seif al-Adl have also crept into the chapter on al-Qaida’s strategy,” explains Fouad Hussein.

An Islamic Caliphate in Seven Easy Steps

In the introduction, the Jordanian journalist writes, “I interviewed a whole range of al-Qaida members with different ideologies to get an idea of how the war between the terrorists and Washington would develop in the future.” What he then describes between pages 202 and 213 is a scenario, proof both of the terrorists’ blindness as well as their brutal single-mindedness. In seven phases the terror network hopes to establish an Islamic caliphate which the West will then be too weak to fight.

    • The First Phase Known as “the awakening” — this has already been carried out and was supposed to have lasted from 2000 to 2003, or more precisely from the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 in New York and Washington to the fall of Baghdad in 2003. The aim of the attacks of 9/11 was to provoke the US into declaring war on the Islamic world and thereby “awakening” Muslims. “The first phase was judged by the strategists and masterminds behind al-Qaida as very successful,” writes Hussein. “The battle field was opened up and the Americans and their allies became a closer and easier target.” The terrorist network is also reported as being satisfied that its message can now be heard “everywhere.”

 

    • The Second Phase “Opening Eyes” is, according to Hussein’s definition, the period we are now in and should last until 2006. Hussein says the terrorists hope to make the western conspiracy aware of the “Islamic community.” Hussein believes this is a phase in which al-Qaida wants an organization to develop into a movement. The network is banking on recruiting young men during this period. Iraq should become the center for all global operations, with an “army” set up there and bases established in other Arabic states.

 

    • The Third Phase This is described as “Arising and Standing Up” and should last from 2007 to 2010. “There will be a focus on Syria,” prophesies Hussein, based on what his sources told him. The fighting cadres are supposedly already prepared and some are in Iraq. Attacks on Turkey and — even more explosive — in Israel are predicted. Al-Qaida’s masterminds hope that attacks on Israel will help the terrorist group become a recognized organization. The author also believes that countries neighboring Iraq, such as Jordan, are also in danger.

 

    • The Fourth Phase Between 2010 and 2013, Hussein writes that al-Qaida will aim to bring about the collapse of the hated Arabic governments. The estimate is that “the creeping loss of the regimes’ power will lead to a steady growth in strength within al-Qaida.” At the same time attacks will be carried out against oil suppliers and the US economy will be targeted using cyber terrorism.

 

    • The Fifth Phase This will be the point at which an Islamic state, or caliphate, can be declared. The plan is that by this time, between 2013 and 2016, Western influence in the Islamic world will be so reduced and Israel weakened so much, that resistance will not be feared. Al-Qaida hopes that by then the Islamic state will be able to bring about a new world order.

 

    • The Sixth Phase Hussein believes that from 2016 onwards there will a period of “total confrontation.” As soon as the caliphate has been declared the “Islamic army” it will instigate the “fight between the believers and the non-believers” which has so often been predicted by Osama bin Laden.

 

    • The Seventh Phase This final stage is described as “definitive victory.” Hussein writes that in the terrorists’ eyes, because the rest of the world will be so beaten down by the “one-and-a-half billion Muslims,” the caliphate will undoubtedly succeed. This phase should be completed by 2020, although the war shouldn’t last longer than two years.

 

A Serious Plan?

But just how serious is this scenario? “Al-Qaida makes no compromises,” says the book’s author Fouad Hussein. He obviously believes that this seven-point plan could well become the guiding principle for a whole range of al-Qaida fighters. Hussein is far from an hysterical alarmist — in fact he is seen as a serious journalist and his Zarqawi book is better than most of the reports in Arabic on the subject. Only last year, the journalist made a film which was received with great interest and was shown on the German-French TV channel arte. In it he provided deep insights into al-Qaida’s internet propaganda machine.

Nevertheless, there is no way the scenario he depicts can be seen as a plan which al-Qaida can follow step by step. The terrorist network just doesn’t work like that anymore. The significance of the central leadership has diminished and its direct commands have lost a great deal of importance. The supposed master plan for the years 2000 to 2020 reads in parts more like a group of ideas cobbled together in retrospect, than something planned and presented in advance. And not to mention the terrorist agenda is simply unworkable: the idea that al-Qaida could set up a caliphate in the entire Islamic world is absurd. The 20-year plan is based mainly on religious ideas. It hardly has anything to do with reality — especially phases four to seven.

But that doesn’t mean that we should simply discount everything that Hussein has uncovered. A few of the steps in the agenda are plausible. The idea that Syria will become a focus for the Mujahedin is regarded by experts as highly likely. “Close ranks, concentrate on getting more recruits, set up cells,” was the call to the “Mujahedin in Syria” which appeared on one Web site at the beginning of August. From the point of view of the jihadists, Israel and Turkey are also fairly logical targets for an escalation of the confrontation. “Al-Qaida views every fight as a victory, because for so long Muslims didn’t have any weapons at all,” says Hussein. He may not be far off. As for Jordan, al-Qaida leaders such as al-Zarqawi, have already made attacks on the country. They have also stated on numerous occasions that Jerusalem is the real target.

Equally, the idea that in the future al-Qaida could increasingly become a movement that attracts young frustrated men, is hardly a theory plucked out of thin air. The terror network puts a lot of effort into its propaganda — assumedly in order to expand its support base.

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Sources: US enforcement of Iran arms embargo slipped during nuclear talks

Iranian military parade showcasing missiles. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Iranian military parade showcasing missiles. (photo credit: REUTERS)

The Jerusalem Post (Oct 5) — Addressing concerns that a landmark nuclear deal reached this year could boost Iran’s military power, the Obama administration reassured critics that it would maintain and enforce its remaining tough sanctions against the country.

Yet the US government has pursued far fewer violations of a long-standing arms embargo against Iran in the past year compared to recent years, according to a review of court records and interviews with two senior officials involved in sanctions enforcement.

The sharp fall in new prosecutions did not reflect fewer attempts by Iran to break the embargo, the officials said. Rather, uncertainty among prosecutors and agents on how the terms of the deal would affect cases made them reluctant to commit already scarce resources with the same vigor as in previous years, the officials said.

The more relaxed enforcement raises questions over how strictly the arms embargo and other remaining sanctions will be applied in future, since the nuclear deal still needs to be implemented and Iran will likely remain sensitive to a tough sanctions regime.

In the 2014-15 fiscal year, which ended on Sept. 30, US law enforcement officials filed fresh charges just twice against those suspected of attempting to smuggle weapons and related technology from the United States to Iran, according to court records.

Eight such cases were brought in 2013-14. By comparison, around 10 to 12 such cases were brought in each of the preceding six years.

“There’s been a precipitous drop-off,” said one of the senior US officials, who declined to be identified. “The facts are the facts – there’s no other explanation.”

The official added there was already a “reticence” in some agencies and US federal prosecutors’ offices to pursue the cases because they are so tough to build and time-consuming.

“And if we’re going to normalize things with Iran soon, people are asking, ‘Is it worth it?'”

The nuclear deal, reached in July after two years of concerted negotiations, tasks Iran with dismantling much of its nuclear infrastructure in return for the removal of many of the international sanctions placed on it over the past five years.

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Jordan: We Do Not Want Palestinians

Khaled Abu Toameh, an Arab Muslim, is a veteran award-winning journalist who has been covering Palestinian affairs for nearly three decades.

Gatestone Institute:

  • “Improve the living conditions of the Palestinian refugees. Allow them to settle down. Give them citizenship so that they can live as human beings.” — Dr. Ahmad Abu Matar, an Oslo-based Palestinian academic, blasting Arab the world for its continued mistreatment of Palestinians.
  • The Arabs do not care about the Palestinians and want them to remain Israel’s problem. Countries such as Lebanon and Syria would rather see Palestinians living as “animals in the jungle” than grant them basic rights such as employment, education and citizenship.
  • It is no surprise that refugees fleeing Syria have no ambitions to settle in any Arab country. They know that their fate in the Arab world will be no better than that of Palestinians living in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and other Arab countries.

A recent decision by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) to cut back its services has left Jordan and other Arab countries extremely worried about the possibility that they may be forced to grant citizenship rights to millions of Palestinians.

During the last few weeks, many Jordanians have expressed deep concern that the UNRWA measures may be part of a “conspiracy” to force the kingdom to resettle Palestinian refugees.

According to UNRWA figures, more than two million registered Palestinian refugees live in Jordan. Most of the refugees, but not all, have full (Jordanian) citizenship, the figures show. The refugees live in 10 UNRWA-recognized camps in Jordan.

Jordan is the only Arab country that has granted citizenship to Palestinians. Still, many Jordanians see their presence in the kingdom as temporary.

Although there is no official census data for how many inhabitants are Palestinian, they are estimated to constitute half of Jordan’s population, which is estimated at seven million. Some claim that the Palestinians actually make up two-thirds of the kingdom’s population.

Over the past few decades, the Jordanians’ biggest nightmare has been the talk about resettling the Palestinians in the kingdom by turning them into permanent citizens. The talk about turning Jordan into a Palestinian state has also created panic and anger among Jordanians.

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