Terror in Nice: Time to unite in the fight against radical Islam

What is it going to take for us to correctly identify the enemy and unite in the fight against radical Islamic terrorism?

A 13 year old Jewish girl stabbed to death in her own bed in Israel? A massacre at a gay club in Orlando? Attacks against travelers in Brussels and music fans in Paris? Yazidis, Christians and other minorities persecuted throughout the Middle East? Muslims who are butchered because they are the ”wrong” kind of Muslim? Pedestrians run over by a truck in Nice?

The reason for radical Islamic terrorism is not poverty, lack of opportunities, or Israeli ”occupation” (who exactly is Nice or the LGBT community in Orlando ”occupying”?). It is a political ideology that calls for the destruction of Western society and the establishment of Sharia law worldwide.

We are all targets of this totalitarian medieval ideology and therefore we have to unite and fight it together.

It’s not too late to turn the tide on this war but we all need to do our part. Educate yourself on the enemy, elect the right leaders, get involved in your community and don’t be afraid to speak up but base your arguments on facts and not prejudice.

Palestinian terrorist murders 13 year old Israeli girl in her sleep

This morning 13 year old Israeli Hallel Yaffe Ariel was stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist while she was asleep in her own bed at home.

This is a direct result of the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) anti-Semitic incitement campaign. In all public spheres the PA spreads anti-Semitic propaganda and encourages terrorism: in schools, in the media, by naming streets after known terrorists, and by paying salaries to convicted and released terrorists, just to name a few examples.

Only a few days ago an adviser to Mahmoud Abbas stated in the media: “Wherever you see an Israeli, slit his throat.”

This incitement must end and all Western countries who give aid to the PA must make that aid conditional on the PA stopping this anti-Semitic incitement. Enough is enough.

The Arab Implosion Continues

By Walter Russel Mead for the American Interest (May 6):

arab spring chaos

  • Last weekend, protesters loyal to cleric Moqtada al-Sadr stormed Baghdad’s government seat and occupied the Iraqi parliament. At the other end of the Arab world, more than 80 migrants are feared to have drowned close to the Libyan coast. These are just two of many stories pointing to the implosion of the Arab republics and the comprehensive failure of postcolonial political development in the “modernizing” Arab states.
  • There are many consequences to this implosion: a power vacuum that leaves the Arab world open to intervention, most recently by Russia and Iran; cultural and social crises that made fanatical jihadimovements possible; economic crisis and vast migration; the accelerating collapse of order and security; and the inability of governments to control much of their territory and the rise of quasi-independent separatist militias.
  • The U.S. has tried its hand at nation-building repeatedly. We have met with no real success, and we have no real idea what to try next. So it looks as if for the foreseeable future, the rest of the world is going to have to deal with the consequences of Arab failure without being able to do much about the underlying conditions.
  • Among the likely consequences of this reality: There will be less attention paid to the Palestinian issue as larger and more immediate problems capture the world’s attention.
  • The Israeli argument that the Palestinians do not have, and cannot soon build, a functioning state structure capable of either making peace or of keeping radicals from attacking Israel after peace is signed will likely gain force within and beyond Israel.

    The writer is professor of foreign affairs and humanities at Bard College and professor of American foreign policy at Yale University.

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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.

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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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)

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 Europe, the penny still hasn’t dropped

By Ben-Dror Yemini for Yediot Aharonot:

Ben-Dror Yemini contends that the penny still has not dropped in Europe. The author notes the frenzy that rocked the continent this past week, following the terror attacks in Paris and intelligence information that Islamic State members are planning to carry out further attacks against France, Germany, Belgium, Italy and Sweden, but points out that “the same Europe, in complete chaos, is busy helping moves initiated by the anti-Israel boycott campaign, which has turned into Hamas’ propaganda wing.”

The author argues that “years of accusing the Jews – in other words, Israel – of treating the Palestinians like the Nazis treated the Jews, years of total blindness towards the Palestinians’ rejection of any peace proposal, years of a self-brainwash, have led to intellectual disability among Europe’s elites in general, and Germany’s in particular,” and adds: “Terror isn’t opening the elites’ eyes, but is rather pushing them more and more towards self-deception.”

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Don’t forget Iran

Iran-Terror-Plot-NigeriaIsrael Hayom discusses global terrorism, and notes that “The Paris terrorist attacks sparked unprecedented shock around the world. A global mobilization effort is underway, with the goal being to crush the head of the Islamic State snake and prevent the group from carrying out further attacks,” but reminds readers of the far more lethal terrorist attacks conducted by Iran and Hezbollah in recent decades.

The author is baffled by the growing legitimacy granted to Iran by the international community since the signing of the nuclear deal this past summer, and points out that “Iran has missiles that can reach most of Europe and a nuclear-armed Iran would pose a far greater threat to international security than Islamic State.”

The author concludes: “What is the difference between Islamic State propaganda videos and the chants of “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” on the streets of Tehran? Is there a difference between an Islamic State terrorist and a terrorist backed by Iran and Hezbollah? The difference is largely tactical. It is easier to deter Iran, as it has a wider range of interests than Islamic State. But the threat posed by Iran to Israel, for example, is no less than that posed by Islamic State.

In fact, Iran is more dangerous. It is an unfortunate twist of fate that the world is ignoring the threat posed by Iran for the sake of fighting a lesser threat.”

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