Why the Paris Massacre Will Have Limited Impact

urlBy Daniel Pipes for National Review Online (Nov 15) — The murder of some 127 innocents in Paris by a jihadi gang on Friday has again shocked the French and led to another round of solidarity, soul searching, and anger. In the end, however, Islamist violence against Westerners boils down to two questions: How much will this latest atrocity turn public opinion? And how much will it further spur the Establishment to deny reality?

As these questions suggest, the people and the professionals are moving in opposite directions, the former to the right, the latter to the left. In the end, this clash much reduces the impact of such events on policy.

Public opinion moves against Islamists specifically and Islam more generally when the number of deaths is large enough. America’s three thousand dead on 9/11 stands out as by far the largest mortality but many other countries have had their equivalent – the Bali bombings for Australia, the railroad bombing for Spain, the Beslan school massacre for Russia, the transportation bombings for Britain.

Sheer numbers are not the only consideration. Other factors can multiply the impact of an assault, making it almost the political equivalent of mass carnage: (1) The renown of those attacked, such as Theo van Gogh in the Netherlands and the Charlie Hebdo office in France. (2) The professional status of the victim, such as soldiers or police. (3) High-profile circumstances, such as the Boston Marathon bombing.

In addition to the over 27,000 attacks globally connected to Islam since 9/11, or more than 5 per day (as counted by TheReligionOfPeace.com), a huge increase in illegal immigration from the Middle East recently exacerbated feelings of vulnerability and fear. It’s a one-way street, with not a single soul ever heard to announce, “I used to worry about Islamism but I don’t any more.”

These cases make more Westerners worried about Islam and related topics from the building of minarets to female infibulation. Overall, a relentless march rightwards is underway. Surveys of European attitudes show 60 to 70 percent of voters expressing these concerns. Populist individuals like Geert Wilders of the Netherlands and parties like the Sweden Democrats are surging in the polls.

But when it comes to the Establishment – politicians, the police, the press, and the professors – the unrelenting violence has a contrary effect. Those charged with interpreting the attacks live in a bubble of public denial (what they say privately is another matter) in which they feel compelled to pretend that Islam has no role in the violence, out of concern that to recognize it would cause even more problems.

These 4-P professionals bald-facedly feign belief in a mysterious “violent extremist” virus that seems to afflict only Muslims, prompting them to engage in random acts of barbaric violence. Of the many preposterous statements by politicians, my all-time favorite is what Howard Dean, the former governor of Vermont, said about the Charlie Hebdo jihadis: “They’re about as Muslim as I am.”

This defiance of common sense has survived each atrocity and I predict that it will also outlast the Paris massacre. Only a truly massive loss of life, perhaps in the hundreds of thousands, will force the professionals to back off their deeply ingrained pattern of denying an Islamic component in the spate of attacks.

That pattern has the very consequential effect of shutting out the fears of ordinary voters, whose views thereby have negligible impact on policy. Worries about Shari’a, rape gangs, exotic diseases, and bloodbaths are dismissed with charges of “racism” and “Islamophobia,” as though name-calling addresses these real issues.

More surprising yet, the professionals respond to the public’s move to the right by themselves moving to the left, encouraging more immigration from the Middle East, instituting more “hate speech” codes to suppress criticism of Islam, and providing more patronage to Islamists. This pattern affects not just Establishment figures of the Left but more strikingly also of the Right (such as Angela Merkel of Germany); only Eastern European leaders such as Hungary’s Viktor Orbán permit themselves to speak honestly about the real problems.

Eventually, to be sure, voters’ views will make themselves heard, but decades later and more weakly than democratically should have been the case.

Placing the murderous rampage in Paris into this context: it will likely move public sentiments substantially in one direction and Establishment policies in quite the opposite way, therefore ultimately having only a limited impact.

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

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Turkey’s Election Results Stink of Fraud

By Daniel Pipes, known for accurately predicting political events in the Middle East. Read some of his predictions that came true here:

http://www.danielpipes.org/predictions/

National Review Online (Nov 5) — Like other observers of Turkish politics, I was stunned on Nov. 1 when the ruling Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi, or AKP) was reported to have increased its share of the national vote since the last round of elections in June 2015 by 9 percent and its share of parliamentary seats by 11 percent.

The polls had consistently shown the four major parties winning about the same number of seats as in June. This made intuitive sense; they represent mutually hostile outlooks (Islamist, leftist, Kurdish, nationalist), making substantial movement between them in under five months highly unlikely. That about one in nine voters switched parties defies reason.

Polling results between the June and November 2015 Turkish elections.

Polling results between the June and November 2015 Turkish elections.

The AKP’s huge increase gave it back the parliamentary majority it had lost in the June 2015 elections, promising President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan a semi-legal path to the dictatorial powers he aspires to.

But, to me, the results stink of fraud. It defies reason, for example, that the AKP’s war on Kurds would prompt about a quarter of Turkey’s Kurds to abandon the pro-Kurdish party and switch their vote to the AKP. As news of irregularities comes in, Michael Rubin of AEI summed up the problems at Commentary:

Turkish political analysts attribute Erdoğan’s cheating quotient at around 5 percent – that takes into account stuffed ballots, shenanigans on the state-run Turkish Airlines as it transports ballots from abroad, disappeared ballot boxes from opposition-run towns and districts, and pretty much everything involving the mayor of Ankara. In the case of Sunday’s elections, it appears that Erdoğan’s AKP won the votes of hundreds of thousands of dead people..

Given the history of fraud in Turkey’s elections, that this one was rigged should come as no shock, especially as rumors swirled in advance about sophisticated efforts to manipulate the results. (For methods, think the Volkswagen emissions scam.)

The citizens of Turkey now face the decisive question of whether to accept or reject the results of this election. Which will prevail – fear of Erdoğan’s ruthlessness or anger at his swindle? Sadly, because his electoral coup d’état has blocked the path of democracy, should Turks resist, they are compelled to do so in non-democratic ways.

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The Russian Bear has joined the cardgame in the Middle East

An excellent analysis by Dr. Mordechai Kedar, senior lecturer in the Department of Arabic at Bar-Ilan University. He served in IDF Military Intelligence for 25 years, specializing in Arab political discourse, Arab mass media, Islamic groups and the Syrian domestic arena.

2gO16x6IsraelNationalNews — Arab media reported on something this week that I did not see any mention of in the Israeli media: the Kremlin announced that by the end of this year – that is, within the next few months – Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud will pay a visit to Moscow. It doesn’t seem like a terribly important bit of information at first glance, just a blurb about one leader paying another a state visit, but this is not just a visit. This is a political gesture that signals Saudi Arabia’s move towards forging an alliance with Russia.

There are four reasons that lie behind this step. The most important is America’s weak standing in the region, obvious to all and exacerbated by Obama’s announcing his retirement from the position of world policeman and the beginning of the American electoral campaign. There is no one to talk to anymore in Washington, especially now that it has become clear that the Iran Agreement is a “done deal.” The Saudis are furious that the agreement was allowed to pass and see it as no less than a breach of trust towards their country on the part of the United States. In contrast to Israel, however, they are keeping their feelings to themselves and playing the international scene coolly with a clearheaded assessment of the new and future realities.

The second reason is the decisiveness Russia displayed in its Syrian involvement, all the more glaring in comparison with the ineffectual US and NATO responses. The Saudis fear that Assad, whom they consider a heretic Allawite whose blasphemous regime must not and can not be allowed to rule over Muslims, will remain in power. They are also furious at the “Butcher of Damascus” bloodbath that cost hundreds of thousands of people their lives, many of them Sunnis. King Salman wants to get Putin’s ear in order to influence him on this issue.

The third reason is Saudi fear of an Iranian-Russian alliance outside the range of Saudi influence. Without the backing of America and Europe, the Saudis prefer to act along the lines of “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.” The king feels that he will have more influence on the Iranians with regard to Yemen, Iraq and Syria if he joins the club instead of remaining outside it.

The fourth reason is Saudi Arabia’s desire to be sure that Russia does not put “boots on the ground” in the war against ISIS. The Saudis do not like Caliph Abu Bakr’s Jihadists, mainly because they have given Islam a bad name, but the Saudi king does not want to see Russia – the land of the unbelievers who drink vodka and eat pork – eliminating large numbers of Sunni Muslims and conquering a Sunni-Islamic state. Remember, there were times when the Saudis supported Islamic State.

The sum total of these reasons has propelled the Saudi king right into Putin’s muscular arms.

But it is also important to note the meeting’s framework: the Saudi king will leave his palace and travel to visit Putin in Putin’s home. In the past, presidents and prime ministers would gather at the entrance to the Saudi King’s throne room, and today it is he who is going to visit Putin, the new kid on the block. And the block is that decaying slum known as the Middle East.

Israel, too, has discovered Russia and its growing sphere of influence in the region – and that realization is what sent Netanyahu to Putin a month ago and brought about the visits of high ranking Russian army officers to Israel. It looks as though Israel does not want to be left outside the equation now that Russia is becoming increasingly involved in Syria, especially since Iran is solidly placed on the other side of the equation.

Recently, there has been a noticeable and interesting change in the tone of Russian spokesmen appearing on the Arab media. Up to as little as a week ago, they spoke about Russia’s limited goals in Syria, including ensuring the continuation of the Assad regime even if it is limited to a small part of the country – the Allawite region on the coast near the ports of Latakia, Tartus and Banias. It did not sound as if Russia is planning a massive campaign against Islamic State, which wields control over 60% of Syria.

Now, the tone of Russian broadcasters has changed. They have begun expressing worry about the slow trickle of Islamic State into countries that were once considered Southern Soviet Russia: Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tagikistan, as well as its infiltration into those Muslim minority groups who live within the Russian Federation: Chechins, Tatars, Pamiris, to name a few.

The Tatars have good reason to rise against Russia after masses of their people were expelled from the Crimean Peninsula, taken from Ukraine and annexed to Russia. The Chechens still have not avenged the destruction of their capital Grozny or the thousands the Russians murdered there in the nineties.

It is important to recall that there are large numbers of Muslims among the low- ranking soldiers in the Russian Army, making it quite possible for ISIS to try to enlist army men to do what Nidal Hassan did in Fort Hood – that is, kill 13 of his friends and wound 31. This is not far off the mark, because there are 200 Muslim rebel volunteers who come from Russia – and one of them, a redhead of Chechen origin – is the commander of the rebel forces near Aleppo. At least one film shows him butchering three regime supporters with his own hands.

He and those like him, can speak Russian or Chechen to their Russian soldier friends, and if just one soldier in a thousand becomes secretly loyal to ISIS, he could then sow death and destruction among his friends…

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Why the Palestinian Authority Does Not Want Cameras on the Temple Mount

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

Palestinian Arab young men with masks, inside Al-Aqsa Mosque (some wearing shoes), stockpile rocks to use for throwing at Jews who visit the Temple Mount, September 27, 2015.

Palestinian Arab young men with masks, inside Al-Aqsa Mosque (some wearing shoes), stockpile rocks to use for throwing at Jews who visit the Temple Mount, September 27, 2015.

Gatestone Institute (Nov 6):

  • The Palestinian Authority (PA) will continue to work against having cameras in the hope of preventing the world from seeing what is really happening at the site and undermining Jordan’s “custodianship” over Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem.
  • Another reason the Palestinians oppose King Abdullah’s idea is their fear that cameras would expose that Palestinians have been smuggling stones, firebombs and pipe bombs into the Al-Aqsa Mosque for the past two years.
  • The cameras are also likely to refute the claim that Jews are “violently invading” Al-Aqsa Mosque and holding prayers on the Temple Mount. The cameras will show that Jews do not enter Al-Aqsa Mosque, as Palestinians have been claiming. Needless to say, no Jewish visitors have been caught trying to smuggle weapons into the holy site.
  • It remains to be seen how Secretary Kerry, who brokered the camera deal between Israel and Jordan, will react to the latest Palestinian Authority escalation of tensions. If Kerry fails to pressure the PA to stop its incitement and attempts to exclude the Jordanians from playing any positive role, the current wave of knife attacks against Jews will continue.

… During the past two years, the Palestinian Authority and other parties, including Hamas and the Islamic Movement (Northern Branch) in Israel, have been waging a campaign of incitement against Jewish visits to the Haram al-Sharif. The campaign claimed that Jews were planning to destroy Al-Aqsa Mosque.

In an attempt to prevent Jews from entering the approximately 37-acre (150,000 m2) site, the Palestinian Authority and the Islamic Movement in Israel hired scores of Muslim men and women to harass the Jewish visitors and the police officers escorting them. The men are referred to asMurabitoun, while the women are called Murabitat (defenders or guardians of the faith).

These men and women have since been filmed shouting and trying to assault Jews and policemen at the Haram al-Sharif. This type of video evidence is something that the Palestinian Authority is trying to avoid. The PA, together with the Islamic Movement, wants the men and women to continue harassing the Jews under the pretext of “defending” the Al-Aqsa Mosque from “destruction” and “contamination.”

The installation of surveillance cameras at the site will expose the aggressive behavior of theMurabitoun and Murabitat, and show the world who is really “desecrating” the Islamic holy sites and turning them into a base for assaulting and abusing Jewish visitors and policemen.

The cameras are also likely to refute the claim that Jews are “violently invading” Al-Aqsa Mosque and holding prayers at the Temple Mount. The Palestinian Authority, Hamas and the Islamic Movement have long been describing the Jewish visits as a “provocative and violent incursion” into Al-Aqsa Mosque. But now the cameras will show that Jews do not enter Al-Aqsa Mosque, as the Palestinians have been claiming.

Another reason the Palestinians are opposed to King Abdullah’s idea is their fear that the cameras would expose that Palestinians have been smuggling stones, firebombs and pipe bombs into Al-Aqsa Mosque for the past two years. These are scenes at the PA, Hamas and the Islamic Movement do not want the world to see: they show who is really “contaminating” the Haram al-Sharif. Needless to say, no Jewish visitors have thus far been caught trying to smuggle such weapons into the holy site.

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Debating Against BDS – and Winning

Famed lawyer Alan Dershowitz. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Famed lawyer Alan Dershowitz. (photo credit: REUTERS)

By Alan Dershowitz for the Jerusalem Post (Nov 3):

When I was invited to debate in favor of the motion “Is BDS Wrong?” at the Oxford Union, I fully expected to lose the vote of the 250 or so students and faculty who are members of the oldest debate society in the world. “Israel always loses at Oxford,” I was warned by colleagues who had debated other Israel-related issues. Nonetheless I decided to participate, hoping to change some minds.

I proposed as my opponent Omar Barghouti, the Qatari-born, Israeli-educated, co-founder and spokesperson of the BDS movement, but he refused to debate me. The Union then selected Noura Erekat, a Palestinian-American human rights attorney, who has been a vocal supporter of BDS.

When she backed out at the last minute, I began to get suspicious: was the BDS movement boycotting me? After all, BDS advocates have called for “common sense” academic boycotts against individuals who they feel are too vocal in their support for Israel, in addition to a blanket boycott of all Israeli academic institutions.  After speaking with the organizers of the debate at Oxford, I continue to believe that I was in fact being boycotted.

The Union then selected Peter Tatchell, a distinguished and popular British human rights activist who has participated in 30 Union debates, most of which he has won. I knew I was in for a difficult time, especially when the audience applauded his points more loudly than mine and when many of the questions seemed hostile toward Israel, though polite.

Mr. Tatchell’s main argument was that BDS was a nonviolent form of protest against Israel’s occupation and settlement policies that mirrored the boycott movement against apartheid South Africa, and followed the principles of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King. He was articulate in arguing that boycott tactics generally were a non-violent alternative to war and terrorism. The force of his argument was somewhat weakened by the recent spate of terrorist knife attacks by Palestinians against Israelis, which leaders of the BDS movement such as Barghouti have justified as resistance to the “decades-old regime of occupation.”

I argued that BDS was not an alternative to war but rather an alternative to peaceful negotiations by the Palestinian leadership. This is because the BDS movement is firmly opposed to the two-state solution. Omar Barghouti confirmed as much when he said “definitely, most definitely, we oppose a Jewish state in any part of Palestine.” Thus, the BDS movement makes it more difficult for the Palestinian leadership to accept the kind of painful compromises that both sides must agree to if there is to be a negotiated resolution.

Together with other efforts to delegitimate and isolate Israel, BDS also sends a false message to the Palestinian street: namely, that international economic and political pressure can force Israel to capitulate to all Palestinian demands, without any compromise on territorial issues. In turn, this disincentivizes the Palestinian leadership from accepting Prime Minister Netanyahu’s offer to begin immediate negotiations with no preconditions.

Such discussions are particularly important now, to halt the gruesome cycle of violence that has intensified in recent weeks. Both sides must return to the negotiations table, and both must be willing to make concessions. For the Israelis this means rolling back settlemesettlements, and granting greater autonomy to the West Bank; for the Palestinian Authority, it means renouncing violence against Israeli civilians, disavowing Hamas and other terrorist organizations, and accepting the need for territorial compromise with land swaps.

BDS opposes any effort at negotiation that isn’t premised on the recognition that Israel is an apartheid state. Indeed, many of its leaders refuse to recognize the right for Israel to exist as a nation-state for the Jewish people. In so doing, they are empowering radicals on both sides of the issue who have no desire to see a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

Many liberal activists such as Mr. Tatchell—whose advocacy on behalf of LGBT rights I greatly admire—have made common cause with BDS, hoping to pressure Israel to end the occupation, and afford greater self-determination to Palestinians in the West Bank. They seem to believe that a movement advocating non-violent tactics is necessarily the best way to achieve a lasting peace. But BDS is radically opposed to any negotiated settlement, and has increasingly begun to regroup bigots of all stripes who feel comfortable with the language used by its leaders, such Mr. Barghouti.

Mr. Tatchell and many pro-BDS academics also feel that Israel has committed human rights violations both in the occupation of the West Bank, and in its prosecution of the armed conflicts in Gaza. During the course of the debate I issued the following challenge to the audience and to my opponent: name a single country in the history of the world, faced with threats comparable to those faced by Israel, that has a better record of human rights, compliance with the rule of law and seeking to minimize civilian casualties.

I invited audience members to shout out the name of a country. Complete silence.  Finally someone shouted “Iceland”, and everyone laughed.  When the best is treated as the worst, in the way the BDS movement singles out Israel for accusation, the finger of blame must be pointed at the accusers rather than the accused. In the end, the case against BDS won not because of the comparative skill of the debaters but because I was able to expose the moral weakness of the BDS movement itself.

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Analysis: Lone wolf terrorism and social media

An excellent and thorough analysis of the recent wave of terrorism in Israel.

terror social mediaThe Jerusalem Post (Nov 1) —  Israel is in the throes of a nationalist and religion-driven wave of terror fueled by incitement falsely accusing it of desecrating the al-Aqsa Mosque and changing the status quo on Jerusalem’s holy Temple Mount.

This kind of propaganda had been disseminated for some time by Palestinian terrorist organizations, especially Hamas and Islamic Jihad. But their inflammatory messages received a tailwind when senior Palestinian Authority (PA) officials and other Arab leaders joined the chorus, urging Israel not to “contaminate” the Temple Mount. This mainstream voice was the catalyst that drove inflamed young people into the streets, taking the law into their own hands and randomly wounding and killing Israelis.

The current wave of terror started as a succession of terrorist attacks carried out primarily by “lone wolves,” using knives and axes or ramming vehicles into bystanders.

By any rational cost-benefit analysis, the initial wave seems to have failed. In most cases, the terrorist perpetrators were killed, wounded or captured, and the strategic damage they were able to inflict was limited.

As a result, the Palestinian terrorist organizations led by Hamas stepped up their incitement on the Web and published instructions on how the attackers could be more effective. The instructions are usually accompanied by video clips with recommendations on the kind of knives to use, where to stab the victims, from which angle to attack and so on. In some instances, the terrorist organizations suggest attacking in pairs or larger groups, seizing rifles from prospective military victims and opening fire in all directions.

This institutional incitement and training via the Web reflects only one aspect of the growing importance of the social media in the current wave of terror. The social networks, especially Facebook and Twitter, are used by many of the young terrorists as a platform to convey their thoughts, feelings and political messages before leaving for their attacks.

Some see this as a way of putting their suicidal actions in the desired context, stressing their supreme sacrifice and altruism.

Their words serve as a kind of spiritual last will and testament, guiding friends and family on how to act after their deaths. Without these messages, the terrorist acts they are about to commit might lose their meaning and quickly sink into oblivion in the maelstrom of conflict-related events.

Another aspect, no less important, is the glorification bestowed by the social media on the lone wolves in the wake of their terrorist acts. Spurred on by the terrorist organizations and their supporters, the networks promote escalation and encourage other potential terrorists to attack.

Each terrorist act becomes a model for emulation, sparking a vicious cycle that is fueling a terrorist epidemic.

With regard to the number of dead and wounded and the degree of damage they cause, the lone wolf attacks are limited compared to the use of explosive charges, shootings or suicide bombings. But they are more difficult to prevent because of the inherent lack of early warning intelligence. As opposed to attacks by terrorist organizations, in which there are usually a number of people in on the secret and involved in the initiating, planning, preparation and implementation, making it possible for security forces to glean intelligence through infiltration of the terrorist chain and foil attacks before they are carried out, “private initiative” terror begins and ends in the teeming brain of the individual terrorist, with nobody else in the know.

Nevertheless, the current wave of terror points to the fact that gathering open intelligence in the public domain, especially through monitoring of the social networks, could become an effective and practical substitute for traditional intelligence gathering. This could help address the intelligence lacunae in the case of lone wolf terror and, in some cases, provide an early warning of lone wolf terrorist plans.

Moreover, the incitement and instructional activities of the terrorist organizations and their supporters out on the Web could also prove to be an Achilles heel. This could also be exploited to thwart some of the terrorist attacks. In other words, while the social media networks play a significant role in the initiation, guidance and escalation of knife-wielding terror, they could also be key in thwarting or preempting terrorist acts.

Nevertheless, we need to be absolutely clear that the current wave of terror will only subside after the incitement abates and the messages from the Palestinian leadership to the Palestinian public change. And since it is totally unrealistic to expect the terrorist organizations to make any such changes, we should concentrate our efforts on PA and Arab leaders, especially Jordan’s King Abdullah and PA President Mahmoud Abbas.

These two leaders adding their voices to the plaintive cries of the Palestinian terrorist organizations over the ostensible danger to the al-Aqsa Mosque and the alleged changes to the status quo on the Temple Mount was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. The change in their messages sparked the eruption of terrorist knifings because it signaled the mainstream’s joining the extremist bandwagon.

The reaction of the street was not slow in coming. Therefore, conversely, those two leaders, especially Abdullah, could play an important role in halting the terror.

They could issue a public call to end the violence, as soon as they are convinced that there is no danger to al-Aqsa and that there is no intention of changing the status quo.

For that it is not enough for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to declare that Israel hasn’t changed and does not intend to change the status quo. He has already done so several times.

As a confidence-building measure and gesture toward Abdullah, he should declare publicly and in detail what the principles of the status quo acceptable to the parties have been up until now, and solemnly pledge that they will remain exactly the same in future. His endorsement of US Secretary of State John Kerry’s understanding of the status quo, backed up by closed-circuit television cameras monitoring every move on the mount and broadcasting directly to the king’s palace in Amman, is a step in the right direction.

Now, if he so wishes, Abdullah could, as he has done in the past, quickly transform the Arab and Palestinian discourse and help restore order.

Prof. Boaz Ganor, the founder and executive director of the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT), is the dean and the Ronald S. Lauder chair in Counter-Terrorism at the Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzliya.

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Boycott and Palestinian rejectionism are the enemy of peace

By Ben-Dror Yemini for Ynet (Nov 1) —  Op-ed: In an article in The Washington Post, Steven Levitsky and Glen Weyl claim they support the boycott against Israel for their love of Israel. But one cannot reach a peace agreement by supporting a campaign that opposes any peace agreement.

60886300991797640360no“When we say ’67 borders, we know that the greater goal is the end of Israel… Don’t say these things to the world. Keep it to yourself” – Abbas Zaki, Senior PLO official, Al-Jazeera, Sep. 2011.

“Muslims’ destiny is to kill Jews. Resurrection will come only after Jews are killed by Muslims” – the principal Palestinian Authority religious leader, the Mufti Muhammad Hussein, Jan. 2012.

We can keep on. It isn’t Hamas. It’s the senior officials of the Palestinian Authority (PA). When we read and hear this almost daily incitement, it isn’t simple for us, Israelis who strive for peace, who are willing to make painful concessions, to change public opinion.

From the south we have Hamas. From the north we have Hezbollah, and the Islamic State is coming closer. From the east we have the PA, where one of its senior officials is telling us that the ’67 boarders, for them, means the end of Israel.

Yes, we have to strive for peace. We cannot allow ourselves to give up. Peace is needed. But nothing is simple.

For two Jewish Zionists who love Israel, as they define themselves, everything is simple. They published an article supporting the boycott against Israel (“We are lifelong Zionists. Here’s why we’ve chosen to boycott Israel,” by Steven Levitsky and Glen Weyl, Washington Post, October 23, 2015). For them, reality, incitement, Palestinian refusal to make peace – shouldn’t be taken into account. Israel is the only player in the blame game. But for many others, reality should be part of the story. So let’s face some facts.

We can assume that the writers are very familiar with the boycott campaign against Israel, which is active on many campuses in the United States. The campaign has clear goals and excellent speakers. The campaign, publicly and openly, is not seeking a peace settlement or solution of two states for two peoples. One of the three main goals of the campaign is the “right of return,” which means the destruction of Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people. This is not an interpretation. These are the explicit and declared goals of the heads and spokesmen of the campaign, as Omar Barghouti and Ali Abunimah, or as Professor As’ad Abu Khalil, declare: “The real aim of BDS is to bring down the State of Israel … That should be stated as an unambiguous goal. There should not be any equivocation on the subject.”

So it’s a bit strange to support the right of Jews to a state and at the same time to support the world’s most prominent campaign which seeks the destruction of this very state.

The main justification of the writers for the boycott is the continuation of the occupation. In their opinion, this proves that the occupation is not temporary, but permanent. We can and should expect the two authors to know what happened over the last two decades.

In late 2000, then-President Clinton presented parameters which described the basis for a peace agreement: Two states for two peoples, Israeli withdrawal from 95 percent of the territories (the settlement blocs include only about five percent), the partition of Jerusalem, and a solution to the refugee problem.

Israel accepted the plan. Arafat arrived in Washington to give the Palestinian response. Before going to the White House, Arafat met with diplomats from Arab states, led by Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar bin Sultan, who supported the initiative. At the end of the meeting, Bin Sultan said to Arafat: “If your answer is negative, it will not be a tragedy. It will be a crime” (The New Yorker, March 24, 2003). Arafat went to the White House, and committed a crime.

This happened again in 2008, when then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert submitted a similar proposal. The Palestinian answer, again, was negative. According to Condoleezza Rice, Abbas insisted on the return of “four million refugees,” not to the proposed Palestinian state, but to Israel proper.

In between, Israel carried out a unilateral disengagement from Gaza. The Palestinians could have seized the opportunity to promote welfare and prosperity. But, led by Hamas, they chose to establish an industry of death, rockets, hatred and terrorism. They did not refuse the proposals of Israel. They refused the offer of the Quartet, which offered them hope and huge investments. They chose violence.

The two authors indicate the increase in the number of settlers. Criticism of the settlements is justified. But it should be clear: The increase in settler population is limited, almost entirely, to those living in the big blocs of settlements, which will remain part of Israel according to any peace initiative. But when the basic facts are not clear, the impression is that the settlements are an obstacle to peace. The settlements are a problem. The Israeli government deserves criticism. But this is not an obstacle to peace.

The authors cite Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, who said that that control of the West Bank is “not a matter of political debate. It is a basic fact of modern Zionism.” Well, Rivlin supports the “one state solution,” supported by a small fraction of the ideological right and the radical left. But it isn’t clear why the authors give credence to a person who holds a symbolic position, while at the same time, ignoring the official Israeli position presented, again and again, in all negotiations, over the last 15 years.

The authors admit that Israel “is hardly the world’s worst human rights violator”. They even admit that “boycotting Israel is double standard”. But they excuse it with their love for Israel.

This is an interesting argument. When haters demand a boycott, they do it because they deny the right of Israel to exist. When lovers of Israel do it, they suffocate Israel with their love. The result is the same. But what is more interesting is that there is no Palestinian or Arab movement that will demand self-responsibility from the Palestinian leadership. No calls for a boycott of the Palestinian Authority even if time and again the Palestinian leadership refused any settlement based on the idea of two states for two peoples. No calls for a boycott of the Palestinian Authority even though it makes monthly payments to terrorist murderers of Jews, including members of Hamas, who are sitting in prisons. There is no call for a boycott against the PA that continues to fund anti-Semitic incitement against Israel.

There is something very racist about the absolute exemption from criticism granted to the Palestinian side, but obsessive criticism, directed to the Israeli side. The day when supporters of peace understand that the Palestinian side has some responsibility; the day when they demand that Palestinians end incitement and terrorist funding – will be a better day for the prospect of peace.

We can assume the authors have good intentions. They strive for peace. But their way is wrong. One cannot reach a peace agreement by supporting a campaign that opposes any peace agreement. One cannot stop the occupation by ignoring Palestinian rejectionism of the two states for two peoples solution. You cannot support a campaign that opposes the existence of Israel and claim that this is due to your love of Israel.

Peace is the enemy of the boycott campaign, and the boycott campaign is the enemy of peace.

Click here for original source.

Israelis are being stabbed to death in the streets of Jerusalem − why doesn’t anyone care?

He is writing about the media in the UK, but it is just as applicable to the mainstream media throughout Europe.

By Yiftah Curiel, spokesperson for the Israel Embassy in London.

Palestinian students cover their faces and hold up axes as a fellow protester waves a national flag during an anti-Israel protest in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah Said Khatib/ AFP

Palestinian students cover their faces and hold up axes as a fellow protester waves a national flag during an anti-Israel protest in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah
Said Khatib/ AFP

International Business Times (Oct 30) — October was a bloody month in Israel, with over 50 terror attacks, mostly involving stabbings, but also using firearms and vehicles. Over 100 Israelis were injured, 14 in a serious condition, and 11 were murdered. Many of the Palestinian perpetrators died in the attacks, some were teens, motivated by religious incitement and lies concerning the site known as al-Aqsa to Muslims and Temple Mount to Jews.

Here in London, the past few weeks have felt like a veil was lifted over political-correctness and a veneer of journalistic practice with regards to Israel. This was no Gaza operation, not a drone war, nor an exchange of unequal firepower. The facts were clear and simple: Israelis, from children to the elderly, were being murdered in broad daylight in towns across the country.

Yet the media does not seem to get it right even under these circumstances. Headlines still run as “Israeli police shoot Palestinian”, then change to “Palestinian shot in knife attack”, and again to “Woman who planned knife attack shot dead” (she didn’t just plan it, she actually carried it out). An Israeli whose car is stoned with rocks steps out and “pays with his life for attacking Palestinian trucks”, while a terrorist “becomes seventh Palestinian killed by security forces after Jerusalem stabbing”.

All of the above headlines are real, and all were subsequently corrected; some of them undergoing three or four different versions, reflecting the clear fact that editors understood that they did not make sense, simply did not reflect reality on the ground. Yet these corrections ensued, week after week, as if media outlets were unwilling to accept reality and forgo their automatic mode of reporting on the region, in which Palestinians must play the role of victims, and Israelis the aggressors.

Anti-Israel groups also seemed confused by the situation, and so they did the only thing they know how to do − call for a protest outside the Israeli Embassy. Under the vague banner of “Protest for Palestine”, last week we saw the familiar scenes of Hamas and Hezbollah flags, and of people telling an Israeli journalist that “all Zionists should be killed”. Thankfully, his equipment wasn’t trashed this time, as it was in last month’s “peaceful protest”.

Countless headlines were corrected this month, nearly one for every deadly terror attack in Israel. Meanwhile, Palestinian incitement was dismissed by some as “an Israeli line”, a “distraction”.

Radical clerics brandishing knives and holding up explosive belts, Hamas spokesmen acting as cheerleaders for terror attacks, and Palestinian radio playing songs of praise to the “martyrs”, were of little interest to a media focused only on Israeli actions.

The willingness to disregard reality, to display this level of animosity toward Israel at a time when its civilians were facing a wave of rampant terror, sends a clear message: “Your lives are of no interest to us”.

Unfortunately, reality doesn’t conform to the attitude of the media, as we’ve seen in Syria, where civilians continue to die regardless of scant media coverage, or Gaza, whose population continues to suffer under Hamas even today.

When we read headlines focusing on Israel’s in-the-moment response to murderous Palestinian terrorism, rather than on the terrorist stabbings and shootings themselves, I wonder precisely what such people expect from Israelis? When a television presenter asks Jerusalem’s mayor if carrying a gun to protect oneself from a stabbing wasn’t “excessive”? Do they wish for Israelis to passively accept the terrorist’s knife in their chest, and not defend themselves lest this provokes another negative headline or protest abroad?

Solidarity and sympathy with Palestinians aside, what we have witnessed these past weeks has looked like solidarity with murderous Palestinian knife-wielders, mixed with callousness towards innocent Israelis’ lives.

Click here for original source.

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

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