In order to handle terror, France must end its denial

Op-ed: As long as Europe fails to understand that there should be no distinction between the ‘legitimate terror’ striking Israel and the ‘barbaric terror’ striking Europe, it will fail to find the appropriate way to deal with this horrible phenomenon.

66373500100084640360noYnet — … When Jews were murdered in Paris and in Toulouse, most French people saw it as a random and slightly troublesome spillover of a distant Middle Eastern conflict into their lives – but not as a cause for concern and for general mobilization. When journalists were murdered in the Charlie Hebdo newspaper offices, people explained that the reason was the fact that religious Muslim sentiments had been hurt. And even now, after terror attacks which have clarified that all of France is being targeted, many are refusing to acknowledge a simple fact: Terror is terror is terror.

The political-media discourse in France is now similar to the one which took place in Britain and Spain after the mass terror attacks in those countries a decade ago: There is no connection between the terror attacks in Europe and the terror attacks striking Israel.

The French are insisting on hanging on to their refusal to recognize the existence of a joint Israeli-French battle against a religious ideology of destruction. Commentators and politicians filling up the television and radio studios are refusing to mention Israel’s name as a country from which France can learn how to deal with a daily reality of terror, as the perception that Palestinian terror is the product of a legitimate national struggle – in other words, justified and understandable – has struck roots there.

Those creating distinctions between “legitimate terror” against Israel and “barbaric terror” against the West are singlehandedly sowing the atrocious bloody violence which is striking again and again in Paris and in all of Europe.

Islamic terror with its different names – PLO, Hamas, Hezbollah, al-Qaeda, the al-Quds Brigades, ISIS, the al-Nusra Front, the Muslim Brothers – is one and has one goal: To impose Islam on the world – forcibly or through negotiations, by beheading people or through democratic elections, in the Middle East, in Europe, in Africa, in America and in Asia.

This is not a racist and paranoid conclusion. This is a quote of comments made by the spiritual leaders of the different Islamist factions. Racism is reflected in the Europeans’ chronic unwillingness to listen to what comes out of the Islamists’ mouth and accept their words literally.

When after the Paris attacks, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini tweets from the talks for an agreement in Syria that most of the countries present in the meeting suffer from terror – and willingly avoids stating that the talks are attended by many countries which uphold, fund and back Islamic terror – she is paving the way for the next terror attacks on European soil.

As long as Europe fails to understand that there is no difference between the terror striking Israel and the terror striking Europe, it will fail to find the appropriate way to deal with this horrible phenomenon.

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European Jewry’s bleak future

Israel Hayom comments on the implications of terror in Europe on European Jews:

“That a massacre of at least 129 civilians in Paris, in the heart of Europe, could be engineered by half a dozen militarily trained killers is an indicator of what we can expect in the future unless ruthless measures are taken to confront the terrorists in their home base and reverse the tide.

What is amazing is that, even after this last manifestation, many European leaders remain in denial and fail to recognize that we are not confronted by mindless nihilistic terrorists but by fanatically inspired Islamic extremists committed to the destruction of Western civilization and democracy.

The situation in Europe is catastrophic. Most countries, in particular France, now host large Muslim communities, a substantial proportion of which are radicalized, antidemocratic and sympathetic to terrorist acts. The last straw is the massive flow of “refugees” which threatens to completely change the demography of Europe. In the midst of this turbulent, massive migration and ongoing fears of new terror attacks, the future for European Jews appears bleaker than ever.”

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Welcome to World War Three

Analysis: The Paris attack is directly tied to events in Syria and Iraq; this was not an intelligence failure but rather the failure of the West to see itself as in a total war vs. radical Islam.

By Ron Ben-Yishai for Ynet (Nov 16) — It is time that we came to the realization: we are in the midst of World War III. A war that will differ from the others but will take place all over the globe, on land, air and sea. This is a war between jihadist Islam and Western civilization; a war between radical Islam and all those who refuse to surrender to its values and political demands.

… Therefore ISIS is attacking its enemies’ rear and Europe, as usual, is the first to get hit. ISIS and al-Qaeda prefer striking in Europe because it is considered the cradle of Christianity and Islamic fundamentalist organizations still see it as the homeland of the Crusaders, who just as in the past, are at present waging a religious and cultural war on Islam. France and Paris were chosen as a target as France stood at the forefront of the cultural and religious struggle against radical Islam. It is also the easiest target to attack.

map2_490_englishWhy France?

France was the target of a combined assault of radical Islam not just because it has a tradition of human rights and freedom of movement, but because France and French culture symbolize everything that radical Islam is afraid of and is in an all-out war against. France enacted a ban on women to wear the hijab in public places, the Supreme Court allowed the magazine Charlie Hebdo to publish caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad and President Francois Hollande recently refused Iranian President Rouhani’s request to not have alcohol served at a dinner in his honor. All these are challenges to the jihadists that no one else in the West have yet dared emulate. So that is the primary reason that France mourns the murder of at least 129 people.

The second reason is that France has the biggest and most established Muslim population in Europe that lives in large urban concentrations, mostly poor neighborhoods. These are ideal soil for the preaching of radical Islam in neighborhood mosques. The terrorists yesterday spoke French fluently and one can assume that at least some were French citizens of North African descent and other Muslim countries in Africa and Asia. They could thus assimilate into the population to choose destinations, collect information about them and flee from them after their attack.

… The third reason is the fact that France is in the heart of Western Europe and it is surrounded by states with large Muslim immigrant communities. The freedom of movement between European countries as per the Schengen Agreement allows the jihadists to utilize these communities to both find terrorist fighters who have been through the baptism of fire in the Middle East and to smuggle weapons required to perform attacks.

Another reason for choosing France is that it is considered the center of and the pinnacle of European culture and it is to a great extent a world city of the first order. Therefore the attack there has the greatest effect on people’s consciousness. Horror is effectively spread. It appears that the attackers were equipped with the pages of messages that declared so that those victims who survive would be able to cite to a media thirsty for every detail. “You bomb us in Syria and we bomb you in Paris,” was heard.

A change of perception needed

To carry out terrorist attacks in seven different locations requires lots of time and elaborate organization. One has to plan, to stockpile weapons and explosives, choose targets, collect information about the targets ahead of the attack, recruit attackers some of whom are willing to die in suicide attacks and tour the scene of the attack and prepare nearby before the actual attack. Therefore, it is reasonable to estimate that the attack was planned and prepared months ago and was kept on hold for a strategically opportune moment.

We need to prepare for further attacks not only in France, but throughout Europe…

The way Israel manages to gather intelligence and act on it quickly with the Border Police counter-terrorism unit and Shin Bet’s operational unit must serve as a model. It is clear that European bureaucrats, EU officials, will at first oppose the adoption of this model – but reality will probably force it upon them. They also will have to enact legislation to enable the mechanisms set up for intelligence gathering and rapid reaction to decisively prevent attacks before they occur and handle them quickly if they have already started to take place.

The world war between murderous fundamentalist Islam and Western civilization – and basically anyone and anything not Muslim – will have to be waged without compromise and without half-steps on land, air and sea. Brussels may not like it – but we’re all in the same boat. And no, the current wave of terrorism has nothing to do with the “occupation of Palestine.”

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This time it was Paris

Summary: “Whether or not people in the civilized world want to admit it, radical Islam has declared war on Western civilization,” and asserts that despite what many people have been insisting since 9/11, Israeli ‘occupation’ or ‘settlements’ are not the root of Muslim rage. The author argues that a clash of civilizations is the main cause of friction between Islam and Western civilization, and hopes that the world “will once and for all understand and appreciate that Israel is a Middle Eastern fortress of 21st century liberal democracy and human rights living in a region dominated by a seventh-century religion of conquest or submission.”

Israel Hayom (Nov 17) — … Since 9/11, many people have insisted on pointing to the Israeli “occupation” or “settlements” as the root of Muslim rage.

Nothing could be further from the truth. First of all, in various negotiations, Israel has offered to give up practically of the territories it was forced to conquer in the defensive war of June 1967. Every time, the Arabs have rejected the Israeli offers. They have chosen to remain in a continuous state of war, rather than accept the existence of a Jewish entity, which they view as a cancerous blight on what they deem to be “holy Muslim soil.”

There is ongoing a clash of civilizations and the fault line of this conflict runs right along the borders of Israel. Jews in Israel are despised for the exact same reason that attendees at a soccer match or rock concert in Paris or passengers on the London Underground are. Simply put, in the eyes of Islamist terrorists, they are all “the other.”

According to the Koran, the world is divided into two domains: Dar-al-Islam (the House of Islam), which submits to Shariah law, and Dar-al Harb (the House of War), which includes the rest of the world that does not submit to Shariah law and therefore must be conquered.

It is time for the West to wake up and realize that the war that Israel has been fighting for its survival ever since it came into being has nothing whatsoever to do with the shape of its borders. The terrorism that has been taking place in Israel has nothing to do with 1967 and everything to do with 1948.

Maybe this time, the world will finally wake up and understand the nature of the war the Islamists are waging against Western civilization. I erroneously thought the world had woken up from its slumber in 2001, but it proved that it would rather put its hand back on the snooze button and blame Islamic terrorism on extraneous and irrelevant factors, such as the “occupation.”

My hope and prayer is that the world will once and for all understand and appreciate that Israel is a Middle Eastern fortress of 21st century liberal democracy and human rights living in a region dominated by a seventh-century religion of conquest or submission. Israel is always willing and able lend a hand and to teach the painful lessons it has learned during its 67 years of survival in a tribal and primitive part of the world. It can teach about how to survive in a new globalized world where the friendly Islamist neighbor next door might suddenly wake up and decide to stab you in the back.

Sarah N. Stern is the founder and president of the Endowment for Middle East Truth, a pro-American and pro-Israeli think tank and policy institute in Washington.

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Radical Islam – the invisible enemy

“Every day the US and its allies maintain their refusal to acknowledge that radical Islam exists.”

By Caroline B. Glick, senior contributing editor of the Jerusalem Post.

The Jerusalem Post (Nov 17) — As the cleaning crews were mopping the dried blood from the stage and the seats of the Bataclan concert hall in Paris, a depressing act appeared on stage in distant Iowa.

Saturday night the three contenders for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination took to the stage in Iowa for a debate. The moderator asked them whether they would be willing to use the term “radical Islam” to describe the ideology motivating Islamic terrorists to massacre innocents. All refused…

But of course, it is easy to understand what motivates Islamic terrorists. They tell us all the time.

They want the world to be run by an Islamic empire.

When they are in charge, they will kill, subjugate, convert or enslave all non-Muslims, except Jews.

The Jews will be obliterated.

The attacks they carry out in the Western world are viewed both as battles for the soul of Muslims worldwide and as a means to terrorize non-Muslims into accepting subjugation.

… The radical Islamic goal of destroying America – and the rest of the world – is the same regardless of who ends up winning the intramural jihad contest.

And as we have seen repeatedly in recent years, the sides are happy to come together to achieve their common goal of killing us and destroying our societies.

The Americans’ avoidance of reality is not unique.

The Europeans also refuse to see it.

Following the jihadist massacres at Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cacher in Paris in January, French President Francois Hollande insisted that the attackers who killed in the name of Islam had nothing to do with Islam.

After jihadists in London beheaded British soldier Lee Rigby outside his barracks in 2013, British Prime Minister David Cameron insisted that the attack, carried out in the name of Islam, had nothing to do with Islam.

The operational consequences of the West’s refusal to acknowledge the nature of the forces waging war against it have been disastrous.

Radical Islam is an ideology that serves both as an organizing principle for civil societies and a military doctrine. By ignoring it, the US and the rest of the free nations of the world have made it impossible to conceptualize or implement a strategy for either discrediting it or defeating its adherents.

Rather than develop comprehensive plans for dealing with this enemy, the Americans, the Europeans and others have opted for a mix of policies running the spectrum from appeasement to whack-a-mole operations.

Abroad, appeasement has taken its most significant form in the US-led nuclear deal with Iran. As the largest state sponsor of terrorism and the most active radical Islamic imperialist force in the Middle East, Iran is the ground zero of radical Islam. It not only oversees and directs the operations of its puppets, like Syrian President Bashar Assad, and its foreign legions, like Hezbollah. The Iranian regime has also played a key role in developing Muslim Brotherhood offshoots like al-Qaida, which received, and likely continues to receive training and direction from Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. As for Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, if Iran had been interested in preventing its rise, IS would never have taken over any territory in either country.

At home, appeasement of radical Islamic forces has involved embracing Muslim Brotherhood front groups and insisting that radical Islamic clerics are moderates because they aren’t pulling any triggers.

The West’s whack-a-mole war against radical Islam at home and abroad has meant that even as one group – like core al-Qaida – is cut down, it is swiftly replaced by other groups, like Islamic State. And if IS is eventually cut down, it too will be replaced by another group, and then reconstitute itself as IS when the West’s attention is taken up by the next major group.

Obama has enabled this state of affairs by defining the enemy as narrowly as possible, reducing the whole sphere of radical Islam to a few discrete groups – like al-Qaeda and IS – that he seeks to defeat or contain.

It is not simply that the whack-a-mole strategy doesn’t work. It is self-defeating. Since the radical Islamic trigger pullers in the West are usually no more than a few people who get together to murder people, insisting that someone has to be a card carrying member of a recognized terrorist group before authorities will go after him makes it almost impossible to find operatives and prevent attacks.

The murderers Friday may well never have received formal orders to commit their attacks from a central jihadist headquarters. They may have met at a mosque in Paris or Brussels and decided to do it.

Certainly they needed no advanced training to mow down people eating dinner or watching a rock concert. They didn’t even really need to know how to shoot straight.

As for their explosives vests, all they needed was a guy with a working knowledge of explosives to set them up with the means to turn themselves into human bombs. Maybe he trained in Syria. Maybe he has a degree in chemistry from the Sorbonne.

Maybe he is just good at following YouTube videos.

The most important component of Friday night’s massacre was the terrorists’ radical Islamic motivation.

Their belief in their ideology motivated them to die killing innocent people. Everything else was secondary. They may have been inspired and loosely directed by the heads of IS. But if Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had been killed six months ago, they would have found another source of inspiration.

And that’s the main point. While Friday’s killers may have given their allegiance to IS, they were operationally and ideologically all but indistinguishable from their predecessors in the London subways in 2005 and the Madrid commuter rails in 2004 who hailed from al-Qaida. Likewise, while the US may have seriously degraded core al-Qaida in the Middle East over the past seven years, IS in Iraq, Syria, Egypt and Libya is an organic extension of al-Qaida.

To defeat these groups, the US and its allies need to adopt a strategy that is rooted in an acknowledgment of the nature of our true enemy: radical Islam.

Armed with this recognition, the nations of the free world can determine operational guidelines for combating not only specific, discrete groupings of adherents to this ideology, they can develop overall strategies for combating it at home and in the Middle East.

At home, such strategies require Western governments to penetrate, disrupt and destroy radical Islamic networks on the ground in a sustained, concentrated manner. In the Middle East, they require the free world to stop seeking to appease leaders, regimes and militias that support and ascribe to radical Islam.

… Every day the US and its allies maintain their refusal to acknowledge that radical Islam exists and that the regime in Tehran, al-Qaida, IS, Hamas and all the rest are mere expressions of this larger ideology, the danger radical Islam poses to the survival of free societies will continue to mount and grow. Saturday night’s Democratic debate was a depressing reminder how low we have fallen.

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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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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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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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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.

The Hidden Hand behind the Palestinian Terror Wave

The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (Oct 25)

Arab disturbances along the Gaza-Israel border

Arab disturbances along the Gaza-Israel border

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

Click here for full article.

Ten Deadly Lies about Israel

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

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

 

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

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

 

Second: Israel seeks to destroy al-Aqsa mosque.

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

Seventh: President Abbas is a voice of moderation.

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

Tenth: Palestinian terrorism is the consequence of Palestinian frustration.

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

Click here for original source.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click here for full article.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click here for full article.

What Do Palestinian Terrorists Want?

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

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

Click here for full article.

Jews are being killed simply for being Jews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click here for original source.

“Palestine:” The Psychotic Stage

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Didn’t think so.

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

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

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

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