The American Kafir


Truth and lies at the theatre of the absurd

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The UN a ‘theatre of the absurd’ and the ‘house of lies’

Benjamin Netanyahu

Article Source Link: Daily Mail

Truth and lies at the theatre of the absurd

By Melanie Phillips

Some 1941 years ago, the Romans conquered the ancient Jewish kingdom of Judea by force and attempted to expunge all memory of the Jews’ claim to the land by renaming the area Palestine. Two days ago, Mahmoud Abbas attempted to do the same thing by diplomatic force at the UN.

The whole thing was of course a grotesque charade, outdone in its surrealism only by the reaction of the western world. For the UK and US governments and others said that such a unilateral declaration of independence was a setback for peace and a Palestinian state, which could only be achieved through negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel.

Not so. Negotiations do not have to be re-started in order to achieve this. If Abbas really wanted a state of Palestine to live in peace alongside Israel, he could have said a handful of words in New York which would have ended the conflict there and then and brought such a state into actual being.

For all that is needed is for Abbas to say, in Arabic as well as English, that he accepts the right of Israel to exist as the nation state of the Jewish people, and that his own people will no longer wage war against it. If he were to say that, and to match those words by deeds to show he meant them – for example, by ending the incitement in the educational materials and media under his command to hatred and murder of Jews and Israelis – there would be peace and a state of Palestine.

But this will never happen. For the dominant assumption in the west, the assumption that underpins virtually every political utterance on the subject and every interview on the BBC and the reporting even in notionally pro-Israel papers such as the Times or Telegraph that a state of Palestine would end the Middle East conflict, is not only wholly mistaken but is to mis-state that conflict.

For peace to be achieved, the belligerent has to stop making war. The Arabs have made war on the Jews in their ancient homeland since Israel became a state and indeed for three decades before that. For a solution to be arrived at, it’s necessary correctly to state the problem. The problem is not the absence of a state of Palestine. The problem is that the Arabs want to get rid of Israel.

For anyone paying attention to the actual words used, the evidence was there in Abbas’s own speech. His people, he declared, had been suffering for 63 years. What happened 63 years ago? The state of Israel came into being. So what Abbas was saying was not that the absence of a state of Palestine was the problem. The problem for him was the very existence of the state of Israel.

He also said:

‘…we agreed to establish the State of Palestine on only 22 per cent of the territory of historical Palestine – on all the Palestinian Territory occupied by Israel in 1967.’

But the West Bank and Gaza were not 22 per cent of historical; Palestine; they were far, far less. It was Israel that was established on a fraction of ‘historical Palestine’, having settled for that fraction as better than nothing at all. And if the Palestinians truly had accepted a state merely in the West Bank and Gaza, why then did they refuse the offer of precisely such a state on more than 90 per cent of that territory which was made to them in 2000 and 2008? Why does the very Palestinian logo on their flags and insignia show a map of this state of Palestine to which they aspire as having swallowed up Israel altogether?

In Ramallah on September 16, Abbas made his position even plainer. ‘The Palestinian people’, he stated, ‘have been abused for 63 years, generation after generation, under occupation’.

No, it is not the settlements but the existence of Israel itself that is the problem which Abbas believes UN recognition of a state of Palestine would help resolve. It is Israel itself that Abbas wants to subsume into Palestine. In other words, as he himself has previously said, declaring UDI at the UN was a way of internationalising the conflict with Israel. UN recognition of a state of Palestine is therefore not a move towards peace but a signal for genocidal war.

The truly incredible bone-headedness (or worse) of the western response was encapsulated by a BBC Today programme interview on Friday morning with the UK’s former ambassador to the UN, Sir Jeremy Greenstock. Sir Jeremy declared that a state of Palestine was ‘not a threat to Israel’, and that the Palestinians were ‘desperate’ to end the ‘injustice’ done to them and to restart negotiations. Eh? What ‘injustice’? The Palestinians are the ones waging war on Israel, not the other way round. What desperation, when they have repeatedly turned down the offer of a state? What keenness to re-start negotiations, when Israel repeatedly offers them negotiations and they repeatedly refuse?

Even worse, Sir Jeremy also said that what was much more important for Israel than a state of Palestine was not to imperil any further its relationship with other countries in the region such as Egypt, Turkey or Iran. What?? Doesn’t Sir Jeremy realise that the Palestinians are despised by every country in the region? Hasn’t Sir Jeremy noticed that Turkey is now pursuing an Islamist agenda, with appalling implications not just for Israel but for the interests of the UK and the west, and that Egypt may well  fall to the Islamists too? And as for Israel not upsetting Iran by its attitude to the Palestinians, hasn’t Sir Jeremy Greenstock understood that Iran is threatening Israel with nuclear extinction because it is a Jewish state? On what planet is Sir Jeremy Greenstock living?

To anyone with a scintilla of knowledge of the nine-decade Arab and Islamic war against the Jews in the Middle East, Abbas’s speech at the UN consisted of lie after lie after lie. He claimed that Israeli settlements in the West Bank were illegal and in breach of international law (untrue); he claimed that the settlements were in breach of the terms of negotiation (untrue; it is Abbas’s own unilateral declaration which tears up successive bilateral treaties); he claimed that Israel was targeting Palestinian civilians in Gaza (untrue; Israeli attacks, which carefully avoid hitting civilians wherever possible,  are only in defence of its civilians against Hamas attacks –with which Abbas has now publicly lined himself up, not least by hailing as ‘martyrs’ those in Gaza who murder Israelis).

As for his claim that the settlements were the reason there was no peace, this was demonstrably ridiculous.  As Netanyahu said in his own fine speech at the UN:

‘President Abbas … said that the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the settlements. Well, that’s odd. Our conflict has been raging for — was raging for nearly half a century before there was a single Israeli settlement in the West Bank. So if what President Abbas is saying was true, then the — I guess that the settlements he’s talking about are Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jaffa, Be’er Sheva. Maybe that’s what he meant the other day when he said that Israel has been occupying Palestinian land for 63 years. He didn’t say from 1967; he said from 1948. I hope somebody will bother to ask him this question because it illustrates a simple truth: The core of the conflict is not the settlements. The settlements are a result of the conflict.’

History records that, from the 1930s onwards, the Jews have never stood in the way of a Palestinian state if that would end the war of annihilation the Arabs have continuously waged against them. A Palestine state has been on repeated offer. The Arab response has always been to refuse and instead to attempt to destroy the Jews’ presence in their own ancient homeland. As certain Palestinian spokesmen themselves have acknowledged, Palestinian identity was itself constructed purely to destroy Israel. The reason for the objection to a state of Palestine is that it would be used to bring about the final destruction of Israel as a Jewish state, an aspiration which Abbas never ceases to proclaim.

As Netanyahu said in his speech:

‘We believe that the Palestinians should be neither the citizens of Israel nor its subjects. They should live in a free state of their own. But they should be ready, like us, for compromise. And we will know that they’re ready for compromise and for peace when they start taking Israel’s security requirements seriously and when they stop denying our historical connection to our ancient homeland.

I often hear them accuse Israel of Judaizing Jerusalem. That’s like accusing America of Americanizing Washington, or the British of Anglicizing London. You know why we’re called “Jews”? Because we come from Judea.”’

What Israel should be stating explicitly and repeatedly is that it is the Jews who are the indigenous people of what are now Israel and the West Bank – and indeed beyond. Commentators often refer to Judea and Samaria as ‘Biblical’ names as if they can therefore be disregarded today. Not so. Judea and Samara were the true historical names for Israel and the West Bank, used in international treaties and official documents of the Palestine Mandate period, and throughout which land the Jews were given the legal right to settle. Only now as the west mimics the Arab attempt to airbrush the Jews out of their own history have these names become synonymous with Jewish extremism.

What really illustrates the west’s moral bankruptcy over Israel and the Palestinians is that the day before the Abbas charade, the very same UN gave the stage to Iran’s Ahmadinejad from where he spouted his murderous lies and hatred of the west, including his implication that 9/11 was a US conspiracy.  This is the leader of a regime which executes teenagers for homosexuality and which is developing nuclear weapons to commit genocide against Israel and hold the western world hostage. Yet far from expressing outrage at this use of the UN by such a man, far from drawing attention indeed to the utter suicidal madness of having the UN as a global policeman when its own Security Council is now chaired by Lebanon, a country in thrall to Iran through Hezbollah, the appearance of Ahmadinejad elicited barely a shrug by western media which instead worked themselves into a frenzy over Abbas and the ‘plight’ of the Palestinians.

Netanyahu again called it right. He said the world was menaced by a malignancy.

‘That malignancy is militant Islam. It cloaks itself in the mantle of a great faith, yet it murders Jews, Christians and Muslims alike with unforgiving impartiality. On September 11th it killed thousands of Americans, and it left the twin towers in smouldering ruins. Last night I laid a wreath on the 9/11 memorial. It was deeply moving. But as I was going there, one thing echoed in my mind: the outrageous words of the president of Iran on this podium yesterday. He implied that 9/11 was an American conspiracy. Some of you left this hall. All of you should have.’

Netanyahu called the UN a ‘theatre of the absurd’ and the ‘house of lies’. The western media mostly didn’t bother to report that, just as they didn’t bother to report much of his speech. What they are really waiting for is for the Palestinians to resume attacking Israelis as a sign of their ‘desperation’. They won’t report those attacks either. But they will report the Israelis’ response and call that ‘aggression’. That’s the prospect over which the western media, sensing a final kill, are now slavering.



By Kevin D. Williamson

Here are two facts: (1) Anwar al-Awlaki is an American citizen and an al-Qaeda propagandist. (2) Pres. Barack Obama proposes to assassinate him. Between the first fact and the second falls the shadow.

The Awlaki case has led many conservatives into dangerous error, as has the War on Terror more generally. That conservatives are for the most part either offering mute consent or cheering as the Obama administration draws up a list of U.S. citizens to be assassinated suggests not only that have we gone awry in our thinking about national security, limitations on state power, and the role of the president in our republic, but also that we still do not understand all of the implications of our country’s confrontation with Islamic radicalism. The trauma of 9/11 has deposited far too much emotional residue upon our thinking, and the Awlaki case provides occasion for a necessary scouring.

Contra present conservative dogma, the Constitution has relatively little to say about the role of the president in matters of what we now call national security, which is not synonymous with combat operations. What the Constitution says is this: “The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States.” That is all. Upon this sandy foundation, conservative security and legal thinkers have constructed a fortress of a presidency that is nearly unlimited or actually unlimited in its power to define and pursue national-security objectives. But a commander-in-chief is not a freelance warlord, and his titular powers do not extend over everything that touches upon national security. The FBI’s counterterrorism work, for example, is critical to national security, but its management does not fall under the duties of a commander-in-chief; it is police work, like many of the needful things undertaken in the War on Terror. The law-enforcement approach to counterterrorism is much maligned in conservative circles where martial rhetoric is preferred, but the work of the DOJ, FBI, NYPD, etc., is critical. It is not, however, warfare.

A commander-in-chief does not have unilateral authority to invade foreign countries or to name belligerents, and it is clear that the Founders did not intend to give the president that kind of unchecked war-making power, much less to compound it with unchecked domestic police and surveillance powers, which is why the power to declare war resides with Congress rather than with the president. Our Constitution, as in all things, relies upon checks and balances when it comes to the conduct of war. It is significant that the final powers — to declare war, to ratify a peace treaty, to punish treason — do not rest with the president, but with Congress.

Congress deploys its checks and balances through passing laws, but many conservatives now argue that the president need not follow them. It is no exaggeration to write that a key plank in their platform is the belief that the law does not apply to the president or to his employees. Being a co-equal branch of government, conservatives argue, the executive is not bound by what my colleague Andrew C. McCarthy habitually refers to as mere “congressional statute” — i.e., the law — when pursuing its constitutional national-security duties. I do not wish to exaggerate Mr. McCarthy’s position, so I will let him speak for himself. For example, he acknowledges that “Bush’s ‘Terrorist Surveillance Program’ did not comply with the letter of a congressional statute, the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act,” but maintains that the administration was not obliged to follow the law in this case, because of a superseding constitutional investiture. Mr. McCarthy dismisses the notion that “the president acts illegally whenever he transgresses a statute” and argues that Congress “violated constitutional separation-of-powers principles” merely by issuing subpoenas to White House staffers in the course of a criminal investigation. He argues that in national-security matters, the president’s conduct is “more a political matter than a legal one.” For a great many conservatives, President Nixon’s most cracked assertion — “When the president does it, that means it is not illegal” — is now an article of faith, but President Reagan’s Executive Order 12333 banning assassinations is a dead letter.

Running with the ball we passed him, Obama and his administration now insist on the president’s right not only to order the assassination of U.S. citizens, but to do so in secret, without oversight from Congress, the public, or anybody else. Barack Obama today claims powers that would have made Julius Caesar blush.

An assassination may have military consequences, but it is not mainly a military act — war and assassination are different and distinct branches of politics. That does not mean that the law does not come into play: Mr. McCarthy may believe the president can set aside mere statutes, but he frequently justifies our detentions of al-Qaeda suspects as necessary prophylactics against “war criminals,” and the legal contortions that have been used to justify what we’re still calling with mostly straight faces the “enhanced interrogation” program have been a thing of wonder to meditate upon. The necessary thing to remember, these conservatives insist, is that since 9/11 the nation has been at war. In truth, we’ve been inching our way toward carrying out assassinations since well before the terrorist attacks of 2001. Clinton-administration officials told the Washington Post in 1998 that targeting Saddam Hussein was one possible contingency in case of hostilities with Iraq. Killing a hostile head of state as a prelude to combat operations is probably defensible; the slippery slope to assassinating American citizens was lubricated by the grief and rage of 9/11. There was remarkably little discussion given to it, the War on Terror having brought out the destructive strains of American exceptionalism. It is impossible to imagine that the United States would accept that the King of Sweden or the Grand Duke of Luxembourg has the legitimate right to conduct assassinations in the United States on the theory that we might be harboring enemies who wish them ill; to say the words is to appreciate their inherent preposterousness. But our own president is empowered to target our own citizens, wherever they may be found, without even so much as congressional oversight.

Among other intolerable consequences, this line of thinking means that if the president starts assassinating U.S. citizens helter-skelter, then the law is powerless to stop him, Congress is powerless to stop him (short of impeachment), and we’ll just have to wait for the next election. That is what is meant by “political limits” on executive power, as opposed to legal limits. It is an inadequate control.

These beliefs are relatively new to conservatives, being for the most part an artifact of the Bush years. One needn’t roll the clock back very far to discover a time when conservatives took a starkly different view of executive powers. After the fiasco at the Branch Davidian cult compound near Waco, Texas, the Right not only was willing to see executive-branch personnel subjected to the indignity of answering a subpoena but was in fact insistent that “mere statute” be used to put some of them in prison. Elliott Abrams, writing in National Review, called for investigations, arguing that “the balance between energetic law enforcement and limits on excessive government power will not be maintained if the Justice Department does not seek vigorously to maintain it.” On National Review Online, Deroy Murdock lamented the “maddening culture of impunity in which few officials face serious consequences for violating the law. This double standard, in which federal badges become licenses for lawlessness, typified the Clinton-Reno years.” He added that federal actions “involved an unlawfully extreme indifference to human life. Such misconduct often yields second-degree murder charges. But not at Waco.” Or for the would-be assassins of Awlaki. The Clinton administration was enough to make a limited-executive man, at least for a little while, out of John Ashcroft, who wrote: “The Clinton administration’s paranoid and prurient interest in international e-mail is a wholly unhealthy precedent, especially given this administration’s track record on FBI files and IRS snooping. Every medium by which people communicate can be subject to exploitation by those with illegal or immoral intentions. Nevertheless, this is no reason to hand Big Brother the keys to unlock our e-mail diaries, open our ATM records, read our medical records, or translate our international communications.” John Ashcroft felt differently after 9/11, as we all did. But John Ashcroft’s feelings are not what govern the United States.

The evolution of conservatives’ attitudes toward unchecked executive power is cautionary: If some of us who have historically been skeptical of the state and its pretenses are so quickly seduced by the outside observation of absolute power, how much more alluring must the prospect prove to the men who actually employ that power? Conservatives ought to admit that the presence of one of our own in the White House made us much more amenable to executive arrogations, and that the antiwar movement that tormented the Bush administration brings out a kind of Pavlovian response in us: Whichever side of the barricades the placard-carrying hippies and ANSWER dirtbags are on, we want to be on the other. That’s a salubrious instinct, but it can distort our thinking, inasmuch as the civil libertarians are not always wrong about everything. And we should appreciate that the Obama administration has intentionally made this matter public, leaking the details to the Washington Post: This is not a covert operation, but the establishment of a precedent. It is time to restore our ancestral suspicion of executive power.

But we have failed to do so, and now we are enduring the consequences as the Obama administration draws up a list of American citizens to be targeted for premeditated, extrajudicial killing that is part of no conventional military campaign, which brings us to two destructive illusions that must be shed: First, the War on Terror is not a war — not in the conventional sense of that word. Like the War on Drugs (but infinitely more serious and more important), it is a metaphorical war that sometimes has the characteristics of a real war. Awlaki is not a soldier or a man at arms: He is an author of invective and a preacher of sermons — it was not until the administration had been castigated for its assassination plans that it retroactively promoted the hateful homilist to “commander.” His crimes are real, and there is precedent for punishing them — we hanged Der Stürmer editor Julius Streicher at Nuremberg, but felt the need to conduct a trial first: Even a Nazi got more due process than we today are willing to extend to U.S. citizens. Awlaki is a traitor, to be sure, but hanging American traitors is a job for the American federal courts, not for assassins.

Second, and equally important: We are not going to win. Neither is al-Qaeda. Here, Mr. McCarthy is dead on: “There will be no treaty, no terms of surrender, no conquering enemy territory. Instead, there is only vigilance.” The War on Terror is not a military campaign, but a risk-mitigation project — a dangerous, bloody, and often thankless one. Jihad is and will be a constant low-level menace that may from time to time produce a spectacular attack. Al-Qaeda and its sympathizers will try to kill Americans, and we will try to stop them. If Awlaki happens to find himself on the wrong side of an American munition during the course of combat, he will not be missed.

But combat is a different thing from assassination, and regular combat is increasingly rare in the War on Terror, now that the actual war part — in Iraq and Afghanistan — has mostly wrapped up. And that is why the war model, and all of the lawlessness that flows from it, is defective: When the war is a metaphor, the battlefield is everywhere, and the timeline of operations is history’s horizon, we invite the creation of a state of “permanent emergency” by acquiescing to the growth and glorification of the state in arms. The defect in our pre-9/11 antiterrorism program was not that it was based on a law-enforcement model or that it lacked sufficient martial vigor, but that it was incompetently executed, a low-level, back-burner priority for a fat and happy nation cruising toward the millennium with very little on its mind beyond investment returns and Bill Clinton’s sexual shenanigans. That much changed on 9/11, but this did not: Decent governments do not assassinate their own citizens.

— Kevin D. Williamson is a deputy managing editor of National Review and author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Socialism, just published by Regnery. You can buy an autographed copy through National Review Online here.

Article Source Link: National Review Online

Issue VII of ‘Inspire,’ the English-Language Magazine of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula – A General Review

Source Link:

Issue VII of ‘Inspire,’ the English-Language Magazine of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula – A General Review

By: Steven Stalinsky*

On September 27, 2011, the media wing of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released the seventh issue of the English-language jihadist magazine Inspire.

The cover of the 20-page issue, which is dated Fall 1432 (2011), shows an image of the World Trade Center made out of dollar signs. The cover story, written by editor-in-chief Yahya Ibrahim and titled “The Greatest Special Operation of All Time,” is dedicated to the attacks of September 11, 2001.

The magazine was released 16 days after the 10th anniversary of 9/11, and was provided exclusively to the Al-Fida forum, which is operated by Al-Qaeda’s media company Al-Fajr. It can be assumed that the venue was Al-Fida because the main jihadi forum Shumoukh Al-Islam, which released all previous issues of Inspire, went offline on September 26, 2011, after loading slowly for several days. A message posted by one of its administrators on Al-Fida claimed that Shumoukh Al-Islam had been shut down for maintenance and would be back online shortly. However, Al-Fida members speculated that Shumoukh had been the target of a cyber attack. The magazine was released about 24 hours after Shumoukh went offline.[1]

Shumoukh reappeared online about five hours later, and this incident is similar to what happened prior to the release of the first issue of Inspire, in June 2010.   According to media reports, a debate was underway about Inspire magazine within the U.S. government and military; there were also reports of the U.K. government’s handling of online jihad, and Inspire magazine in particular.  A June 2, 2011 article in The Guardian revealed that U.S. Cyber Command chief Gen. Keith Alexander had argued that blocking the online release of the magazine was a legitimate counterterrorism objective, while the CIA argued that such an action would expose sources and methods and disrupt an important source of intelligence. According to the report, the CIA won out, and the proposal to block the magazine’s online release was rejected. But as the debate was underway within the U.S. government, British government cyber-warriors went ahead with their own plan, and corrupted the original release.[2]

The following is a general review of issue seven of Inspire:

Letter From the Editor: 9/11 is “Merely An Episode in a Long, Protracted War”

Issue VII of Inspire includes a letter from editor-in-chief Yahya Ibrahim stating that this issue is a “special supplement to the great events of the Expeditions of Washington DC and New York, as Shaykh Usama would call it, or simply 9/11. As America mourns and we celebrate this glorious event, we look into what 9/11 means ten years on.” He praises Osama bin Laden, noting that “9/11 has left a permanent scar on the American psyche and will live long after in the hearts of every American. The pain, suffering and agony that Shakyh Usama brought to America is fair payback.” He also warns that 9/11 was “merely an episode in a long, protracted war that started at the time of the Messenger of Allah.”

Al-Qaeda Criticizes Iran for Promoting 9/11 Conspiracy Theories

An op-ed by “Abu Suhail” – which, according to the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) and as noted in a previous MEMRI report on Issue V of Inspire,[3] is an alias once used by American Al-Qaeda operative Adam Gadahn[4] – claims that Iran has promoted conspiracy theories about who is really behind 9/11 because it is envious of Al-Qaeda’s prowess and accomplishments: “Iran and the Shi’a in general do not want to give Al-Qaeda credit for the greatest and biggest operation ever committed against America because this would expose their lip-service jihad against the Great Satan.”

This article is the latest in a dispute between Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri and Hizbullah. In April 2008, Al-Qaeda’s media wing Al-Sahab released a two-hour audio recording by Al-Zawahiri that was a response to questions posted on Al-Qaeda forums for him to answer, earlier that year. One question concerned “the theory that has circulated in the Middle East and elsewhere that Israel was behind the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.” Al-Zawahiri accused Hizbullah’s Al-Manar television of starting the rumor, saying, “The purpose of this lie is clear – (to suggest) that there are no heroes among the Sunnis who can hurt America as no else did in history. Iranian media snapped up this lie and repeated it.”[5]

Yahya Ibrahim on “The Greatest Special Operation of All Time”

In the cover article, titled “The Greatest Special Operation Of All Time: The Expeditions Of Washington D.C. And New York,” editor-in-chief Yahya Ibrahim sets out the reasons behind the 9/11 attacks and the consequences of the attacks for the U.S. Ibrahim says that the 9/11 attacks were catalyzed by decades of American aggression [against Muslims], and by U.S. support for the state of Israel – support, he said, that is the main reason behind the continued Israeli occupation of the Holy Land. He enumerates further reasons for the 9/11 attacks: the U.S. attack and subsequent embargo of Iraq in the first Gulf War, which led to the deaths of over a million and a half Iraqis; the desecration of the Arabian Peninsula by its stationing of troops in Saudi Arabia; and U.S. support for authoritarian regimes [in the Arab world].[6]

Samir Khan Praises Online Jihad

In another lead article, U.S.-born Samir Khan hails Al-Qaeda’s “media jihad” as a component in the war against the U.S. that is equal in importance to actual attacks on it. Khan asserts that Al-Qaeda has won the preliminary stages of the battle for the hearts and minds of Muslims, thus ensuring that the organization’s ideology will live on. One of the reasons for this victory, he explains, lies in the fact that the West and the media present Al-Qaeda’s ideology as nothing but terrorism, whereas the organization’s creed is that of Islam, a fact that earns it the support of Muslims. Khan concludes the article by listing the four key elements which enable Al-Qaeda to win the media war: the technological savvy of Al-Qaeda’s media operatives, the U.S.’s failure to respond to Al-Qaeda’s propaganda, the U.S.’s media “blunders” which damage its image in Muslim public opinion, and the general suspicion with which Muslims view the U.S.[7]

A Decade in Photos – From 9/11 To Today

This section of Inspire comprises 10 pages of photos of the 9/11 attacks, with quotes from Al-Qaeda leaders, including  Osama bin Laden, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, Khalid Hussain, Abu Musab Al-Suri, and Anwar Al-Awlaki. Also included are quotes from leaders of Al-Qaeda offshoots AQAP and Al-Shabab.

A Threat Against New York?

The last pages of the magazine include a quote by Faisal Shahzad, perpetrator of the failed May 1, 2010, Times Square car bombing: “Brace yourself for war with Muslims. I am just the first drop in what will be a flood.” The quote is superimposed on a photo of Times Square.

The last page is an image of Grand Central Station in New York City, with text noting that “coming soon” is an article by Anwar Al-Awlaki, titled “Targeting the Populations of Countries That Are At War with the Muslims.” Also promised as “coming soon” is an exclusive interview with Adam Gadahn, titled “The Arab Intifada, Hopes, Concerns and Dangers.”

It should be noted that Issues V and VI of Inspire promised an upcoming Q&A with Anwar Al-Awlaki that has not yet materialized. The announcement read: “Send your questions to Shaykh Anwar Al-Awlaki. We will hold an exclusive video interview with the Shaykh where he will answer your questions. See the contact page for details on sending an e-mail to al-Malahem.”

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula to Readers: “How to Communicate With Us”

As in previous issues, Issue VII offers readers encryption codes for directly contacting them.[8] They also note to readers that they have changed their public encryption code.

*Steven Stalinsky is the Executive Director of The Middle East Media Research Institute.


[1] See MEMRI Special Dispatch Report No. 4166, “Uncertainty on a First-Tier Al-Qaeda Forum After Apparent Cyber-Attack – Followed By Release of Issue 7 of AQAP’s ‘Inspire Magazine’,” September 27, 2011.

[2] The Guardian, June 2, 2011.

[3] See MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis Report No. 680, “Issue V of ‘Inspire,’ the English-Language Magazine of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula – A General Review,” March 30, 2011.

[5] BBC, April 22, 2008

[6] See MEMRI Special Dispatch Report No. 4168, “Inspire Editor Yahya Ibrahim On 9/11: “The Greatest Special Operation Of All Time,” September 27, 2011.

[7] See MEMRI Special Dispatch Report No. 4169, “Issue 7 – American Jihadi Samir Khan: ‘A Powerful Media Production is as Hard-Hitting as an Operation in America,'” September 27, 2011.

[8] See MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis Report No. 704, “Al-Qaeda’s Embrace of Encryption Technology: 2007-2011,” July 12, 2011.

Hizb ut-Tahrir Emerges in America

Hizb ut-Tahrir Emerges in America

Source Link: ADL


Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT), an international organization that seeks to establish a worldwide Islamic theocracy, is increasing its efforts to spread its message and recruit members in the U.S.

The American branch of HT convened its 2011 Khilafah Conference, titled, “Revolution in the Muslim World: From Tyranny to Triumph,” on June 26, 2011, in the Chicago suburb of Oak Brook, Illinois.

Messages at the conference primarily centered on promoting the organization’s vision of establishing worldwide Caliphate and how the revolutions in the Middle East affect the movement’s goals.

HT held its first major event in the U.S., a conference entitled “Fall of Capitalism and Rise of Islam,” at the Hilton in Oak Lawn, Illinois, on July 19, 2009. Although HT America’s Web site states that the group “does not work in the West to change the system of government,” speakers at the conference focused on HT’s larger agenda of establishing a global Islamic caliphate, which entails ousting existing governments.

While HT has operated as a predominately clandestine organization in the U.S., the Oak Lawn conference marked the group’s emergence onto the public stage in America.

HT is increasingly using the Internet to organize meetings in the U.S. and distribute materials, and has become active on social networking sites like YouTube and Facebook, which it used to advertise both of its conferences.

A closer look at the group’s ideology and international activity reveals that HT not only promotes Islam as a way of life, but is also fundamentally opposed to capitalism and democracy and is explicitly hostile toward Israel and Jews. These basic tenets, along with its record of advocating violence, contradict the group’s attempt to portray itself as a political party seeking change through nonviolent means.

Khilafah Conference 2011

Hizb ut-Tahrir’s American branch convened its second Khilafah conference in the Chicago suburb of Oak Brook, Illinois, on June 26, 2011. The conference, which was not advertised as broadly as it first conference in 2009, was attended by approximately 250 people.

Messages at the 2011 conference, titled “Revolution in the Muslim World: From Tyranny to Triumph,” primarily centered on promoting the organization’s vision of establishing worldwide Caliphate and how the revolutions in the Middle East affect the movement’s goals.

One session at the conference, titled “Breaking the Shackles,” gave voice to the organization’s idea that capitalist and nationalist systems of the West are “enemies to Islam,” and the only solution is for a unified Islamic state to replace such systems with “the rule of Allah,” Sharia, and the Sunnah. The speaker at this session, indentified as Brother Abu Saib, offered the February 2011 ousting of the Mubarak regime in Egypt as evidence of the Islamic nation awakening and starting on a path toward establishing a Caliphate.

Another session, “The Meaning of Real Change,” was accompanied by a follow-up question and answer with a panel of HT representatives in the U.S. The session addressed practical steps the Muslim community can take to bring forth the Caliphate and to prevent another dictator from seizing power in newly liberated Arab countries, like Egypt . Panelists in the Q&A session emphasized that HT was “working with the Ummah [Muslim community] in Egypt ,” and that a Muslim’s duty is to “get the West out of our lands.”

The last two sessions, “Shaking the Thrones” and “Life Under the Khilafah,” examined the state of suffering the Ummah and Islam have fallen into since the abolition of the Ottoman Caliphate, and how everyday life will be governed once Islamic law is implemented worldwide with the rise of a new Caliphate. One of the speakers, identified as Abu Atallah, emphasized that the rise of the Caliphate would mean that borders become obsolete, nationalist ideology would be abandoned and Muslims would control the military.

The meeting ended with organizers stressing the importance of pushing forward for a unified Islamic state, and that the “Qur’an is a message for all mankind and a solution to all of man’s problems.” This was detailed in a pamphlet, “Khilafah State Structure: Introduction to the Constitution,” that was handed out during the conference.

The constitution provides a detailed look at the structure, laws, and methods of governance the global Caliphate is expected to embody once it is established. The source of the Caliphate’s authority and sovereignty will be derived from the Qur’an and the Sunnah, which will help the Caliph “adopt certain rules […] and obliges the people to act according to them.” This pamphlet was designed to be “studied by Muslims while they are working to establish the Islamic State that will carry the Islamic daw’ah to the world.”

Some key points mentioned in the draft constitution:

  • Article 1 states that ‘aqeedah (Islamic creed) will be the sole basis of the State’s foundation. The government’s structure in its entirety can only exist if it is from the Islamic ‘aqeeda.
  • Article 7 describes that the State will be charged with implementing “divine law”, therefore those “guilty of apostasy (murtad) from Islam are to be executed according to the rule of apostasy…”
  • Article 23 details the eight institutions of the Caliphate system, which includes an Amir of Jihad (war). The Amir of Jihad will oversee all war-related activities in the government.
  • In the “Army” section, Article 56 states, “Jihad is a compulsory duty (fard) on all Muslims. Military training is therefore compulsory. Thus, every male Muslim, fifteen years and over, is obliged to undergo military training in readiness for jihad.
  • The social system of the Caliphate would strictly enforce gender segregation between the two sexes, and while women will have the same rights and obligations as men, a woman’s primary role “is that of a mother and wife,” and she may not hold any positions of power within the structure of governance. (Articles 108-118)
  • In reference to trade with foreign nations, Article 157 states that “Any country we have real war between us and its citizens (such as Israel) is excluded” from trading with the Caliphate and its citizens.
  • Article 194, Section 3, describes “imperialist states” like the UK, U.S., France, and Russia as potentially belligerent states that do not have a treaty with the Caliphate.*

*With regards to Israel and the Caliphate’s policy toward the Jewish state, Section 4 states that there can be no peace, and that “a state of war must be taken as the basis for all dispositions with them. They must be dealt with as if a rear war existed between us – whether an armistice exists or not.”

Khilafah Conference 2009

Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT) held its first ever Khilafah (Arabic for “caliphate”) conference in the U.S. on July 19, 2009, at the Hilton in Oak Lawn, Illinois. The conference, entitled the “Fall of Capitalism and Rise of Islam,” advocated for the implementation of an Islamic financial system and promoted the organization’s larger agenda of establishing a global Islamic caliphate, or Islamic rule worldwide, which entails ousting existing governments.

Speakers addressed a crowd of approximately 400 men and women on a range of issues, including the “Islamic economic system,” “suffering under capitalism” and the rise of Islam in the United States.

Mohammad Malkawi, an HT spokesperson and computer engineer from Chicago, argued that capitalism is responsible for the world’s poverty, hunger and war. “It is time to deliver the world to Islam, an idea whose time has come,” he said.

Another speaker from Chicago, Jaleel Abdul-Adil, a professor of clinical psychology at the University of Illinois – Chicago, spoke about the role of Muslims in the U.S., arguing that every Muslim should utilize his skills in the struggle for an Islamic caliphate. Abdul-Adil, who has reportedly appeared at past HT conventions in Britain, declared that “Every home and every community and every masjid [mosque] must contribute to the struggle.”

Abdul-Adil also urged the audience to never “stop calling for Islam as a complete way of life…unless and until Islam becomes victorious or we die in the attempt.”  During a question and answer session following his presentation, Abdul-Adil was asked if shari’a, or Islamic law, would trump the U.S. Constitution. “Yes, it would be gone,” Abdul-Adil replied.

Another speaker, identified only as Abuatallah, outlined how capitalism has failed America, and African-Americans in particular. “Making a black man president will not stop this systemic oppression, will not stop what we see in the urban ghettos,” he said. “Making Obama president is only a scheme, a plot, designed to quiet us.”

In a session on “The Global Rise of Islam,” Burhan Hanif, a member of HT in Britain, criticized Western governments and values and called for Muslims to “work for khilafah,” or the establishment of Islamic rule worldwide.  “Freedom and democracy has become an opium of the masses,” Hanif claimed. “We see how the call of Islam resonates in the increased desperate measures in governments around the world… they are destined to fail.”

HT presented several videos at the conference, including a recruitment video showing HT conferences and demonstrations around the world. “Now it is your turn,” the video says, “Join Hizb ut-Tahrir America.”

A pamphlet entitled “Islamic Reformation: Exposing the Battle for Hearts and Minds,” was reportedly distributed at the conference.  The pamphlet, written by Adnan Khan, an HT member in Britain, calls for the death penalty for those “in the khilafah [who] openly leave Islam.” The pamphlet is also critical of the West, where “crime, sexual promiscuity, individualism and civil disorder is rife.”

The Aqsa School in Bridgeview, Illinois, which was originally scheduled to host the event, cancelled two weeks before the conference, claiming that the group did not disclose the true nature of HT or the conference.

Hizb ut-Tahrir Background

Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT), Arabic for “Party of Liberation,” is an international organization that seeks to establish a global Islamic caliphate.  Established in Jerusalem in 1953, HT claims to be a political organization “whose ideology is Islam.”

HT maintains an extensive international following; it is currently active in more than 45 countries, and its August 2007 convention in Indonesia drew approximately 100,000 delegates.

HT’s strategy to establish a global Islamic caliphate consists of three stages. In the first, the group seeks to recruit “people who believe in the idea and the method of the Party.”  This stage mimics that of the prophet Muhammad, who “gathered together secretly those who believed in him on the basis of this ideology,” according to HT’s Web site.

In the second stage, HT seeks to educate the larger Muslim community about its interpretation of Islam so that the community can work “to establish it in the affairs of life.”  This stage consists of approaching the masses through “lessons, lectures, and talks in the mosques, centers, and common gathering places, and through the press, books and leaflets.”

The third and final stage entails replacing all governments and implementing a global Islamic caliphate.

HT conferences around the world suggest that the group is currently in the second stage of its goal of establishing a global Islamic government. In commemoration of the anniversary of the abolishment of the Islamic caliphate 85 years ago, HT held worldwide events throughout the summer of 2009, calling “on Muslims around the world to mobilize to re-establish the Islamic Khilafah.”  In addition to the July 19 conference in Oak Lawn, Illinois, events took place in Ukraine, Mauritius, Lebanon, Tanzania, Bangladesh, Britain, Indonesia, Sudan and Turkey, among other places.

HT claims that it does not engage in violent activities and generally espouses a policy of nonviolence.  However, in a January 2010 press release, HT called for violence against U.S. troops stationed in Afghanistan.  The group accused “US crusaders” of killing nine school children and injuring 85 others in Afghanistan.  “Such incidents,” HT said in the press release “has to be answered by sharp swords of Muslim united armies under a true Muslim leader (Imam/K), not by few words of condemnations, rallies and demonstrations or submissions of list of demands to the UN’s or Human Rights, which are the protector of these crusaders, not us.”

Its position on nonviolence is complicated by its admission that “jihad” is compulsory for Muslims in an Islamic country to fight their perceived enemies. According to the group’s Web site, “the members of Hizb ut-Tahrir in that country are a part of the Muslims and it is obligatory upon them as it is upon other Muslims, in their capacity as Muslims, to fight the enemy and repel them.” HT’s statements in response to the Israeli naval operation to stop a flotilla of ships en route to Gaza, which called on Muslim armies to “fight the Jews” and “blow ‘Israel’ off the map,” further demonstrate the group’s acceptance of violence.

The radicalization of HT members who adhere to the group’s extremist ideology can also lead to violent acts.  In 2007, German police arrested three men on suspicion of plotting to bomb military and civilian airports, restaurants and nightclubs. Two of the men were allegedly Uzbek members of the HT splinter cell Islamic Jihad Union (IJU), which carried out a terrorist attack against the American and Israeli embassies in Uzbekistan in July 2004.

Two British HT members were also allegedly involved in terrorist activities. One of the men was among those responsible for the 2003 suicide bombing at Mike’s Place, a bar in Tel Aviv.  Another HT member was suspected of joining Al Qaeda and plotting to attack several New York-Based financial targets.  He was arrested in 2004 by British authorities.

Some observers have suggested that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the admitted mastermind of the September 11 terrorist attacks, and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Al Qaeda in Iraq’s former leader, were also members of HT.

In 2003, Germany banned HT for allegedly spreading anti-Semitic propaganda.  Russia declared the group a terrorist organization that same year after reportedly detecting links between HT and Chechen terrorists.  The group had previously been banned in Russia in 1999 for being a criminal organization.  HT has similarly been banned in several Arab and Central Asian countries as well.

Several other European countries, including the United Kingdom, have considered banning HT.  The British government sought to ban the group after allegations that it was linked to the London bombings in July 2005.

HT also has a growing presence in the West Bank, which stands in opposition to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and rejects the legitimacy of both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.  In 2007, the group held a conference in Ramallah that reportedly drew approximately 20,000 supporters.  That same year, HT marched through Ramallah in opposition to the “Zionist provocation” against the Al Aqsa mosque.  Palestinian officials banned HT from holding a July 2009 rally opposing both Fatah and Hamas and the concept of a modern nation-state.

On Israel and Jews

Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT) claims that Islam is in conflict with the existence of Israel, which it says harms both Islam and Muslims, and has a history of encouraging followers to eliminate Israel and the Jews as a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  This long record of hostility toward Israel and the Jews belies HT’s claim that it does not espouse or condone violence, and, according to the U.S. State Department, can yield violent acts against the U.S. and its allies and generate support for terrorism.

A press release dated May 31, 2010, was posted on HT America’s Web site in response to the Israeli naval operation to stop a flotilla of ships en route to Gaza on the same day. “O people: indeed Hizb ut-Tahrir strengthens your determination… there is no solution except to mobilize armies, gathering the capable soldiers and fight the Jews,” the statement declared.  The release also calls on Pakistan and Iran to attack Israel, saying “O you possessors of the missiles that you boast can blow ‘Israel’ off the map, so where are you now, O Pakistan and Iran’s rulers?!”

In another press release in response to the flotilla incident, the Pakistani branch of HT issued a statement calling on the Pakistani army to “prepare nuclear bombs and other weapons for Jihad… fight under this command to annihilate Israel.” The Bangladeshi branch of HT also condoned violence in a press release that called upon Muslim armies to “eradicate Israel and purify the earth of Jewish filth.”

In March 2008, HT posted a press release on its Web site in response to Israel’s retaliatory military action in Gaza, which was employed to stop Hamas from firing rockets into Israeli towns.  “There is only one and uniquely one solution,” the statement declared, “and that is to exterminate the entity of the Jews from existence.”  In another press release that month, HT called on Pakistan and Iran to attack Israel as “the only option that the state of Jews deserves.”  The statement also urged Muslims to “direct your anger at the armed forces so that they stir up fighting the Jews.”

In addition to the inflammatory pronouncements on its Web site, HT America has also condoned violence and jihad during their monthly online discussions. In April 2010, an HT America leader asserted, “When the Muslim land is occupied, jihad is the obligation to those who are attacked by the kufar [non-Muslims].”

Leaders of HT America also produce a monthly newsletter, titled “The Shield,” which has condemned Israel.  In the May 2010 newsletter, an editorial claimed, “Israel was created by the West in order to ensure the Ummah remains divided and continually occupied in an endless struggle with a Western proxy.”

HT has also distributed virulently anti-Israel leaflets. In 2007, HT Australia reportedly promoted a conference in Sydney with a leaflet that depicted a dagger plunged into a map of the Middle East with the words “‘Israel’ is an illegal state” written in blood.

HT Denmark’s spokesman Fadi Abdelatif was convicted in Copenhagen in 2002, and again in 2005, for inciting young Muslims to kill Jews, first in an Internet posting and later in a leaflet.  The leaflet, which called Jews “a people of slander…a treacherous people,” made threats against Jews and called on Muslims to “kill them all, wherever you find them.” The leaflet, which was available on HT’s Web site, encouraged suicide bombings in Israel as “legitimate” acts of “martyrdom.”

HT has also been prosecuted elsewhere in Europe for distributing anti-Semitic publications.  Germany banned the group in 2003 for “spreading hate and violence” in leaflets that called for the killing of Jews, according to German officials. In 2005, the National Union of Students barred HT from universities in the UK after accusations of anti-Semitism.  The group does, however, still operate legally in the UK.

HT’s leadership has also publicly expressed opposition to Jews and Israel.  In an April 2002 response to Israel’s military operations at the Jenin refugee camp, HT in Sudan released a press statement on its Web site condemning the “miserable brethren of pigs and monkeys” of carrying out “brutal massacres.”  “Recognition and negotiation with the Jews,” the press release continued, “is a betrayal of Allah.”

In a 2000 interview with the Central Asia Caucasus Institute at John Hopkins University, an unidentified HT Central Asian leader openly stated, “We are very much opposed to the Jews and Israel… The United States is the enemy of Islam with the Jews.”

HT’s former global leader, Sheikh Abdul Qadeem Zalloom, reportedly declared an injunction in 1988, saying, “If the plane belongs to a country at war with Muslims, like Israel, it is allowed to hijack it, for there is no sanctity for Israel nor for the Jews in it.”

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world’s leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.


Christian Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani faces potential execution

Source Link: Washington Post

Christian Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani faces potential execution


Just days after Iran released two Americans accused of spying, an Iranian court has upheld the apostasy conviction and execution sentence of Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani.

The 11th branch of Iran’s Gilan Provincial Court has determined that Nadarkhani has Islamic ancestry and therefore must recant his faith in Jesus Christ. Iran’s supreme court had previously ruled that the trial court must determine if Youcef had been a Muslim before converting to Christianity.

However, the judges, acting like terrorists with a hostage, demanded that he recant his faith in Christ before even taking evidence. The judges stated that even though the judgment they have made is against the current Iranian and international laws, they have to uphold the previous decision of the 27th Branch of the Supreme Court in Qom.

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When asked to “repent” by the judges, Youcef stated, “Repent means to return. What should I return to? To the blasphemy that I had before my faith in Christ?” The judges replied , “To the religion of your ancestors, Islam.” To which he replied, “I cannot.”

It is reported that Youcef was able to see his children for the first time since March and was in good spirits speaking of how he longed to serve the church upon his release.

Pastor Youcef will be brought to the court for two additional “hearings” on September 27th and 28th for the sole purpose of being called upon to recant his Christian faith. The ACLJ’s sources report that although Pastor Youcef’s attorneys will attempt to appeal the case, there is no guarantee that the provincial court will not act on its own interpretation of Sharia law and execute pastor Youcef as early as Wednesday.

Technically, there is no right of appeal, and under Iran’s interpretation of Hadith and Sharia law, Pastor Youcef is to be given three chances to recant. He has already been asked to recant twice, and will be asked to do so again Tuesday. If he does not recant his Christian faith, he could be executed at any time.

We are continuing to press for the international community to take note of Youcef’s situation and call for his unconditional release. We are also continuing to work with members of Congress and are urging the State Department to get involved to save the life of this Christian pastor.

There is still time to save this pastor’s life.

Please share Youcef’s situation with anyone you know and pray for his release and the safety of his attorney, a brave Muslim who has been sentenced to nine years in prison and banned from practicing law by the Iranian government.

UPDATE: Today, Firouz Sadegh-Khandjani, a Member of the Council of Elders for the Church of Iran and a close personal friend of Youcef, called into my radio show from Iran to provide an update on Pastor Youcef. You can listen to the interview here.

Palestinian Nationhood: Truth… The Key to Peace

Filed under: Arab Nations, Gaza, History, Israel, Palestine, United Nations — - @ 9:55 am

This is a great explanation of the historical timeline Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speech was about at the United Nations. W

Source Link: Family Security Matters

Palestinian Nationhood: Truth… The Key to Peace

Written By Gadi Adelman

September is here in the midst of the “Arab Spring”, the month that I have been writing about and speaking about on my radio show for months. The Palestinian Authority (PA) has entered its application for Statehood with General Ban Ki-moon and the UN.

The announcement came from PA President Mahmoud Abbas as he addressed the UN this past Friday. Why the “President” of a non-existent country should even allowed to address the UN can be answered with two words: Yasser Arafat.

On October 14, 1974, the United Nations invited Yasser Arafat, then Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, to address the General Assembly, pursuant to General Assembly resolution 3210. Arafat was the first representative of a non-governmental organization to address a session of the UN General Assembly. He was also the first leader to address the UN while wearing a holster, although contrary to stories, it did not contain a gun.

Not long after, the PLO was given observer status and the UN recognized the rights of the Palestinians to self-determination in Resolutions 3236 and 3237.

Yes, the PLO, the same organization that spawned such groups as Fatah, Black September, Tanzim and Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade. The same organization that was responsible for hundreds of bombings, hijackings, assassinations as well as other known terror acts. These included the killing of the 11 individuals that made up the entire Israeli Olympic team and their coaches in Munich in 1972, the murder of Cleo Noel, American ambassador to Sudan, in 1973, as well as the 1985 hijacking of the Achille Lauro cruise ship which resulted in the murder of wheelchair-bound Leon Klinghoffer.

What I consider to be an important side note, the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade also claimed responsibility for the November 1975 bombing in Jerusalem, an attack that I survived and which claimed the lives of 7 children.

After October 1974 and Resolution 3210, we saw the “leaders” of the PLO and later the Palestinian Authority (PA) address the UN General Assembly time and again. Friday’s address was far removed from those in the past. This time PA leader Mahmoud Abbas, told the UN and the world,

We aspire for and seek a greater and more effective role for the United Nations in working to achieve a just and comprehensive peace in our region that ensures the inalienable, legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people as defined by the resolutions of international legitimacy of the United Nations.

International legitimacy”, in other words, an independent state or country. Abbas laid out five points during his speech. The first point was, in part,

The goal of the Palestinian people is the realization of their inalienable national rights in their independent State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital, on all the land of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, which Israel occupied in the June 1967 war…

During the Six Day War in 1967 Israel captured land through battles and bloodshed. That land later became known as the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. But whose land was this? Was this a state or country known as Palestine? No. The West Bank was part of Jordan and the Gaza Strip was part of Egypt.

That was not the only land that Israel captured.  In addition they captured the Golan Heights which was a part of Syria. So why are the so-called Palestinians not also asking for the Golan Heights? Because the Golan was never a refugee camp of displaced people.

On December 9, 1917, as the First World War was winding down, Jerusalem surrendered to the British forces. Two days later General Allenby entered Jerusalem. This marked the end of four centuries of Ottoman-Turk rule (the Ottoman Empire) and the beginning of thirty years of British rule, otherwise known as the British Mandate.

The mandate system was established in the League of Nations (the forerunner to the UN) by Article 22 which was formulated at the Paris Peace Conference between January and June 1919. Article 22 stated in part,

To those colonies and territories which as a consequence of the late war have ceased to be under the sovereignty of the States which formerly governed them and which are inhabited by peoples not yet able to stand by themselves under the strenuous conditions of the modern world, there should be applied the principle that the well-being and development of such peoples form a sacred trust of civilization and that securities for the performance of this trust should be embodied in this Covenant.

To put it in to simple terms, the territories would be entrusted to advanced nations until such time as the local population could handle their own affairs. This was all incorporated into the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919.

At the end of the British Mandate, on November 29, 1947, the UN General Assembly, by a two-thirds vote (33 to 13 with Britain and nine others abstaining) passed Resolution 181 partitioning Palestine into two states, one Jewish and one Arab. Yes, that is fact. One Jewish, which would later become Israel, and one Arab.

The Jews of Palestine accepted this partition despite the small size and strategic vulnerability of the proposed state. Additionally  this proposed territory was one tenth of the original size that had been promised as a Jewish homeland.

As soon as the vote was announced, the Arab delegations of Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Yemen stormed out, threatening war and the annihilation of all Palestinian Jews. The Arab national movement in Palestine, as well as all of the other Arab states, rejected any partition. They demanded the entire country and threatened to resist the partition by force.

So we need to explain how Trans-Jordan (known today as Jordan) figures in to all this. According to the website History of Nations,

At the end of World War I, the League of Nations as the mandate for Palestine and Transjordan awarded the territory now comprising Israel, Jordan, the West Bank, Gaza, and Jerusalem to the United Kingdom. In 1922, the British divided the mandate by establishing the semiautonomous Emirate of Transjordan.

It must be stressed here that the White Paper (also known as the Churchill White Paper) stated that the Balfour Declaration could not be amended and that the Jews were in Palestine by right. It partitioned the area of the Mandate by excluding the area east of the Jordan River from Jewish settlement. The land was 76% of the original Palestine Mandate land. It was renamed Transjordan and was given to the Emir Abdullah by the British.

A British memorandum that was presented to the League of Nations on September 16, 1922, stated that the provisions of the Mandate document calling for the establishment of a Jewish national home were not applicable to the territory known as Trans-Jordan, thereby severing almost 80% of the Mandate land from any possible Jewish Homeland.

It amazes me that the world forgets the fact that the Arab demands for a state or a “Palestine” were already satisfied once, it’s called Jordan.

The British divided the mandate establishing Trans-Jordan, but that is also how the West Bank and its “refugees” enter the picture.

Once the Arabs rejected the partition of Palestine, the surrounding Arab nations told the Arabs of Palestine to flee due to the impending war. Many went to Trans-Jordan. Again, according to the History of Nations website,

Transjordan was one of the Arab states which moved to assist Palestinian nationalists opposed to the creation of Israel in May 1948, and took part in the warfare between the Arab states and the newly founded State of Israel. The armistice agreements of April 3, 1949 left Jordan in control of the West Bank and provided that the armistice demarcation lines were without prejudice to future territorial settlements or boundary lines.

In 1950, the country was renamed the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to include those portions of Palestine annexed by King Abdullah. While recognizing Jordanian administration over the West Bank, the United States maintained the position that ultimate sovereignty was subject to future agreement.

“The armistice agreements of April 3, 1949 left Jordan in control of the West Bank”, so, the West Bank was part of Jordan from 1949 until 1967. It was during this time period that Jordan set up “refugee camps” for the Palestinians because they were not “Jordanians”.

There are many reasons as to why Jordan created these refugees in camps, but simply explained, according to Wikipedia,

At the time, the population east of the Jordan River contained over 400,000 Palestinian refugees who made up one-third of the population of the Kingdom; another third of the population was Palestinians on the West Bank. Only one third of the population consisted of the original inhabitants of Trans-Jordan, which meant that the Jordanians had become a ruling minority over a Palestinian majority. This proved to be a mercurial element in internal Jordanian politics and played a critical role in the political opposition. Since the 1950s, the West Bank had become the center of the national and territorial aspects of the Palestinian problem that was the key issue of Jordan’s domestic and foreign policy. According to King Hussein, the Palestinian problem spelled “life or death” for Jordan and would remain the country’s overriding national security issue.

In reality, the West Bank was Jordan, yet Jordan is not asking Israel for that area back. That is because in 1988, Jordan renounced all claims to the West Bank. It did not want to deal with the “Palestinian” issue yet again.

The same holds true for the Gaza Strip, once an area belonging to Egypt. Once again, we must look at the UN 1947 partition plan. The United Nations 1947 partition plan allotted the coastal strip from Yavneh to Rafiah on the Egyptian border to be an Arab state. But remember the Arabs rejected that offer.

In 1948 before the Arabs attacked the newly formed Israel, most Arab inhabitants in Gaza fled or were expelled, settling around Gaza City. The Israeli Defense Forces captured Gaza in 1948, but Israel gave control of the Gaza Strip to Egypt in negotiations, keeping the towns of Ashdod and Ashkelon. In 1956, Israel again went to war with Egypt and captured Gaza yet again, only to return it again.

When Israel returned the entire Sinai Peninsula to Egypt as part of their peace agreement in 1979, Egypt refused to take the Gaza Strip back. Again, these “people” were not really Egyptians and therefore were not wanted.

These are the facts and they had to be explained. Too many people have no clue how we have gotten to this point. As clear as Netanyahu’s speech was, it did not explain the facts leading up to today.

So now Gaza is somehow Israel’s problem even though Israel left Gaza in 2005. As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu explained in his UN speech shortly after Abbas spoke,

We withdrew from Lebanon in 2000 and from every square inch of Gaza in 2005. That didn’t calm the Islamic storm, the militant Islamic storm that threatens us. It only brought the storm closer and made it stronger.

Netanyahu did address the problem with territorial compromises,

Now, some argue that the spread of militant Islam, especially in these turbulent times — if you want to slow it down, they argue, Israel must hurry to make concessions, to make territorial compromises. And this theory sounds simple. Basically it goes like this: Leave the territory, and peace will be advanced. The moderates will be strengthened; the radicals will be kept at bay. And don’t worry about the pesky details of how Israel will actually defend itself; international troops will do the job.

These people say to me constantly: Just make a sweeping offer, and everything will work out. You know, there’s only one problem with that theory. We’ve tried it and it hasn’t worked. In 2000 Israel made a sweeping peace offer that met virtually all of the Palestinian demands. Arafat rejected it. The Palestinians then launched a terror attack that claimed a thousand Israeli lives.

“Prime Minister Olmert afterwards made an even more sweeping offer, in 2008. President Abbas didn’t even respond to it.”
He went on to state facts about what happens each time Israel gives land for peace,

Hezbollah and Hamas fired thousands of rockets against our cities from the very territories we vacated. See, when Israel left Lebanon and Gaza, the moderates didn’t defeat the radicals; the moderates were devoured by the radicals. And I regret to say that international troops like UNIFIL in Lebanon and UBAM in Gaza didn’t stop the radicals from attacking Israel.

We left Gaza hoping for peace. We didn’t freeze the settlements in Gaza, we uprooted them. We did exactly what the theory says: Get out, go back to the 1967 borders, dismantle the settlements.

He explained the fact of what happened to the PA in Gaza when Israel withdrew,

But ladies and gentlemen, we didn’t get peace. We got war. We got Iran, which through its proxy Hamas promptly kicked out the Palestinian Authority. The Palestinian Authority collapsed in a day — in one day.

He spoke about the fact of weapons,

President Abbas just said on this podium that the Palestinians are armed only with their hopes and dreams. Yeah, hopes, dreams and 10,000 missiles and Grad rockets supplied by Iran, not to mention the river of lethal weapons now flowing into Gaza from the Sinai, from Libya, and from elsewhere.

When it came to the rights of Arabs in Israel, he again spoke in facts,

The Jewish state of Israel will always protect the rights of all its minorities, including the more than 1 million Arab citizens of Israel. I wish I could say the same thing about a future Palestinian state, for as Palestinian officials made clear the other day — in fact, I think they made it right here in New York — they said the Palestinian state won’t allow any Jews in it. They’ll be Jew-free — Judenrein. That’s ethnic cleansing. There are laws today in Ramallah that make the selling of land to Jews punishable by death. That’s racism. And you know which laws this evokes.

The Palestinian Authority refuses to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, how can Israel be expected to make peace with a neighbor that refuses to recognize them? Netanyahu spoke of this as well,

Ladies and gentlemen, last year in Israel in Bar-Ilan University, this year in the Knesset and in the U.S. Congress, I laid out my vision for peace in which a demilitarized Palestinian state recognizes the Jewish state. Yes, the Jewish state. After all, this is the body that recognized the Jewish state 64 years ago. Now, don’t you think it’s about time that Palestinians did the same?

He explained the fact that the problem is not settlements while pointing out with Abbas’s very own words that the issue is Israel and not the “territories”.

President Abbas just stood here, and he said that the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the settlements. Well, that’s odd. Our conflict has been raging for — was raging for nearly half a century before there was a single Israeli settlement in the West Bank. So if what President Abbas is saying was true, then the — I guess that the settlements he’s talking about are Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jaffa, Be’er Sheva. Maybe that’s what he meant the other day when he said that Israel has been occupying Palestinian land for 63 years. He didn’t say from 1967; he said from 1948. I hope somebody will bother to ask him this question because it illustrates a simple truth: The core of the conflict is not the settlements. The settlements are a result of the conflict.

Lastly he offered Abbas and the PA to sit down once again,

In two and a half years, we met in Jerusalem only once, even though my door has always been open to you. If you wish, I’ll come to Ramallah. Actually, I have a better suggestion. We’ve both just flown thousands of miles to New York. Now we’re in the same city. We’re in the same building. So let’s meet here today in the United Nations. Who’s there to stop us? What is there to stop us? If we genuinely want peace, what is there to stop us from meeting today and beginning peace negotiations?

I am sad to report the fact that,  once again, Abbas has failed to respond.  Contributing Editor Gadi Adelman is a freelance writer and lecturer on the history of terrorism and counterterrorism. He grew up in Israel, studying terrorism and Islam for 35 years after surviving a terrorist bomb in Jerusalem in which 7 children were killed. Since returning to the U. S., Gadi teaches and lectures to law enforcement agencies as well as high schools and colleges. He can be heard every Thursday night at 8PM est. on his own radio show “AmericaAkbar” on Blog Talk Radio. He can be reached through his website


Ahmadinejad’s Apocalyptic Address

Source Link: NRO

Ahmadinejad’s Apocalyptic Address

September 23, 2011 12:42 PM
Written By Joel C. Rosenberg

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is not a world leader worthy of the world stage. He is the evil leader of an Iranian death cult. A new U.N. report indicates that he is making progress in building nuclear weapons. He has predicted the arrival of the Twelfth Imam and called for wiping Israel “off the map.” He aspires to be a mass murderer beyond the scale of history’s great dictators. He deserves to be in prison, or an insane asylum. His speech on Thursday before the United Nations General Assembly was further proof, if any more were needed.

Did you see Ahmadinejad’s apocalyptic address, or read the full text? You should. It’s instructive. Unfortunately, you won’t find Ahmadinejad’s full speech reprinted in the major newspapers. It was pitifully covered by the mainstream media. It should have been carefully analyzed.

Ahmadinejad isn’t hiding what he believes. He denied the Holocaust. He blasted the U.S. for bringing Osama bin Laden to justice. He blamed the terrorist attacks of 9/11 on the U.S. government. He insisted that his so-called messiah known as “Imam al-Mahdi” or the Twelfth Imam is coming soon. He insisted that Jesus Christ will come with the Mahdi to take over the world. He called for “the shared and collective management of the world.”

Consider this excerpt:

This movement is certainly on its rightful path of creation, ensuring a promising future for humanity. A future that will be built when humanity initiates to [tread] the path of the divine prophets and the righteous under the leadership of Imam al-Mahdi, the Ultimate Savior of mankind and the inheritor to all divine messengers and leaders and to the pure generation of our great Prophet. The creation of a supreme and ideal society with the arrival of a perfect human being who is a true and sincere lover of all human beings, is the guaranteed promise of Allah. He will come alongside with Jesus Christ to lead the freedom and justice lovers to eradicate tyranny and discrimination, and promote knowledge, peace, justice, freedom and love across the world. He will present to every single individual all the beauties of the world and all good things which bring happiness for humankind.

Though most world leaders do not appear to understand what Ahmadinejad is really saying, students of Shia Islamic eschatology, or end-times theology, do. The Iranian leader believes the end of the world as we have known it is increasingly close at hand. He believes the time for establishing an Islamic caliphate, or global government ruled by the Mahdi, is rapidly approaching. What’s more, he believes that the way to hasten the coming of the Twelfth Imam is to acquire nuclear weapons and use them to annihilate the United States, which he calls the “Great Satan,” and Israel, which he calls the “Little Satan.”

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu understands what Ahmadinejad means. So do some of his top military advisers. That’s why they believe Iran is in the eye of a gathering storm in the Middle East, and the chance of a major war is growing.

“Iran has not abandoned its nuclear program. The opposite is true; it continues full steam ahead,” warned Maj. Gen. Eyal Eisenberg, home-front command chief for the Israeli Defense Forces, in a speech earlier this month. Also noting recent uprisings in the Arab world and growing tensions with Turkey, Eisenberg said, “This leads us to the conclusion that . . . the likelihood of an all-out war is increasingly growing.”

What is the world doing to neutralize the Iranian threat? Precious little. Yes, some world diplomats walked out of Ahmadinejad’s speech. Big deal. They walked softly, but where is the big stick? Yes, the world has passed some economic sanctions. So what? The sanctions may be making Iran’s nuclear program more complicated, but as the recent IAEA report indicates, they are not fundamentally changing the equation or stopping the bomb-building process. Why isn’t the world taking decisive action to stop Iran from building, buying, or stealing nuclear weapons and the ballistic-missile systems to deliver them? Time is running out. Once Iran has the Islamic bomb, does anyone really believe they won’t use it against the U.S. and Israel, either directly or through terrorist surrogates?

Instead of stopping Iran from getting the bomb, however, the leaders of the world — including President Obama — are hyper-focused on pressuring Israel to divide Jerusalem, divide the Land of Israel, and allow for the creation of a corrupt and dangerous Palestinian state co-led by the missile-firing Hamas terrorist group. To be sure, the Israeli-Palestinian issue is an important one, and it should be treated seriously and carefully. But it’s not the most important issue in the Middle East today. The murderous, apocalyptic Iranian regime and its race for nuclear weapons is Issue No. 1, 2 and 3.

My forthcoming political thriller, The Tehran Initiative, is about what could happen if the world doesn’t take decisive action soon. What if Iran gets the bomb? What if Iran’s leaders are about to use nuclear weapons? What if Israel launches a preemptive military strike against Iran? What would the world look like, and what would the current — or future — American president do?

Such questions, I think, make for chilling fiction. Unfortunately, the scenario is all too real. Ahmadinejad’s apocalyptic address just made that abundantly clear. It was the most blistering attack on the U.S., Israel, Europe, and the West he’s ever delivered at the United Nations. Every year Ahmadinejad feels more and more emboldened because he says the most evil and sickening things but the world takes no action to stop him. Shame on such world leaders. They are leading us down a very dangerous path.

— Joel C. Rosenberg is a former senior aide to Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the author of eight New York Times best-selling books about the Middle East. His latest book, The Tehran Initiative, releases October 18th.

Harsh Words From Turkey About Israel, and From Iran About United States

Source Link: Gainesville.Com

Harsh Words From Turkey About Israel, and From Iran About United States

September 22, 2011

Damon Winter/The New York Times

UNITED NATIONS — Evidently heedless of American attempts to engineer a thaw in Turkish-Israeli relations, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey used his appearance before the annual General Assembly on Thursday to enumerate a long list of grievances with Israel, a former regional ally.

Mr. Erdogan was the second major Middle Eastern leader addressing the General Assembly, with the widespread focus on the region’s most intractable problem, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, due to culminate Friday with speeches by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority.

Representatives of the so-called quartet — the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia — were still trying late Thursday to reach an agreement on a statement about moving peace negotiations forward, intended to counterbalance the controversial proposal for United Nations membership that Mr. Abbas has vowed to present. The future of the Quartet could be at risk, some diplomats suggested, with the Americans and the Europeans, close to an agreement, ready to abandon the other two members and issue a statement by themselves. It could go down to the very moment after the Netanyahu and Abbas speeches, the diplomats said.

At the General Assembly, a couple of hours before Mr. Erdogan spoke, Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, delivered one of his characteristic anti-Western broadsides, embroidered with tinges of religious mysticism. He blamed the United States, Israel and Europe for the global recession and a list of other ills.

He also suggested that the American military’s killing of Osama bin Laden last May and the disposal of his body at sea were part of a dark conspiracy to conceal the real perpetrators of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Mr. Ahmadinejad’s remarks provoked what has become a ritual large-scale walkout of delegations, led by the United States.

Mr. Erdogan, describing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a “bleeding wound” that the international community can no longer accept, accused Israel of thwarting all attempts to solve the problem. From nuclear weapons to control of the occupied territories to humanitarian aid, Mr. Erdogan said, Israel has contradicted the wishes and norms of the rest of the world.

“If you want to send a box of tomatoes to Palestine, this is subject to approval from Israel, and I don’t think that is humanitarian,” Mr. Erdogan said, suggesting that the new spirit of change in the Middle East meant Israel could no longer continue to foster strife.

The Turkish leader repeated a drumbeat of accusations against the Israelis that he has leveled for months, and there was no immediate reaction from Israel.

The tension is rooted in differences over the Gaza Strip, particularly a May 2010 raid by the Israeli military on a Turkish-organized flotilla trying to run the Gaza blockade, which left eight Turks and a Turkish-American dead. Turkey rejected a United Nations report that found the blockade legal but said Israel had used excessive force.

Mr. Erdogan’s veiled threats to take action against joint efforts by Israel and Cyprus over gas exploration in the eastern Mediterranean did elicit a response from Demetris Christofias, the president of Cyprus, divided into hostile Turkish and Greek halves. He called Turkish naval maneuvers in the area “provocative and a real danger for further complications in the region.”

Mr. Ahmadinejad, appearing before the General Assembly for the seventh year in a row, said poverty, homelessness and denial of basic rights were traceable to “greed for materialism in the United States and Europe.”

Iran has been estranged from the United States since the Islamic Revolution more than 30 years ago, and Mr. Ahmadinejad’s speech has become something of a signature event at the annual session. There were no surprises in either his criticisms or his singular interpretation of world events.

As he has done in previous speeches, Mr. Ahmadinejad raised questions about the Holocaust, blaming the West for using it as an excuse for unwavering support for Israel and for the oppression of the Palestinian people. “They threaten anyone who questions the Holocaust and Sept. 11 with sanctions and military action?” he said.

By the time he got to that line in his 30-minute speech, the low-level American and European diplomats who had been there were no longer around.

The United States delegation was the first to leave when Mr. Ahmadinejad referred to the Sept. 11 attacks as “mysterious” and suggested that the decision to kill Bin Laden, instead of bringing him to trial, was intended to bury the truth of who sent the planes to attack New York and Washington. “Is there any classified material secret that must remain a secret?” he said.

After the Europeans walked out, the hall, not terribly full in the first place, was mostly empty. Oddly, King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa of Bahrain, whose government has repeatedly blamed Iran rather than domestic ills for inflaming the Shiite population there, stuck around.

The United States quickly condemned the speech, as did many other Western governments and nongovernmental organizations. “Mr. Ahmadinejad had a chance to address his own people’s aspirations for freedom and dignity, but instead he again turned to abhorrent anti-Semitic slurs and despicable conspiracy theories,” said Mark Kornblau, the spokesman for the United States Mission to the United Nations.

The Iranian leader, whose previous visits to New York have been contentious, generated less interest this year. Though he did inspire protests outside the United Nations and his Midtown Manhattan hotel, his power clashes at home with Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, have cast some doubt over the extent of his authority.

That doubt, in turn, has made him personally a less threatening figure, despite significant international concerns about important issues like the possibility that Iran is developing nuclear weapons.

Turkey’s Erdogan: Mideast Troublemaker

Filed under: anti-Semitism, Dictators, Israel, Turkey — Tags: — - @ 2:40 pm

Source Link: Wall Street Journal

Turkey’s Erdogan: Mideast Troublemaker

The prime minister has turned his back on America and demonized Israel.

Written By Jack Rosen

The decades-long alliance between Turkey and Israel is in shambles, and American diplomats are working overtime to fix what’s broken. Conventional wisdom holds that the differences between Ankara and Jerusalem can be repaired, that their shared interests are too important to allow the relationship to wither.

But what if conventional wisdom is wrong? What if Turkey finds its increasingly adversarial stance toward Israel so politically advantageous that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan actually seeks to stoke the fire?

The event that led to the current conflict was the Turkish flotilla that attempted to break Israel’s blockade of Gaza in May 2010. Turkey initially said it would abide by the ruling of a United Nations commission set up to determine what happened. The commission’s report, released on Sept. 2, noted that Israel is within its legal rights to impose a blockade against Gaza. Turkey says the report is worthless and continues to demand an apology, even though Israel repeatedly has said it regrets the loss of life as its forces responded in self-defense.

Moreover, Turkey has promised to send more flotillas, accompanied by the Turkish navy, which Mr. Erdogan insists will assume a more aggressive profile throughout the eastern Mediterranean. The military threats from Turkey have extended to preventing Israel from drilling for oil and gas off its own coast.

AFP / Getty Images

Mr. Erdogan chose Gaza long ago as the hook on which to hang his aggressive policies against Israel. After thousands of rocket attacks, and civilians demanding an end to raising their children in bomb shelters, Israel’s military finally responded with military force against the Iran-backed Hamas terrorist organization in late 2008. No leader criticized Israel more harshly than Mr. Erdogan, who created an international incident by insulting and then walking out on Israel’s President Shimon Peres at the World Economic Forum in January 2009.

None of this is an accident. Since Mr. Erdogan and his AKP (Justice and Development Party) came to power a decade ago, Turkey has redirected its strategic thinking away from the United States and the West. The notion that Turkey will only go “so far” and will feel compelled, at the end of the day, to return to the West’s fold, reflects wishful thinking.

Some are convinced that Turkey remains in the West’s orbit, pointing to its willingness to host missile-defense facilities designed to thwart Iran. But engaging in a balancing act that buys Ankara credit in Washington while serving the strategic interest of diminishing its regional Iranian rival shows Turkey knows how to use the West to achieve its goals in the East.

Turkey sees its economic future in the East, having left the issue of European Union membership in its rearview mirror. Since the AKP won re-election handily in June, Mr. Erdogan feels he’s in the driver’s seat, with an enormous amount of political capital at his disposal. As recently revealed in a WikiLeaks document, Mr. Erdogan’s foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, talked about Turks as the “New Ottomans,” the dominant player in the region.

Israel is the perfect foil for Turkey’s ambitions, allowing Ankara to champion its Muslim credentials. It has made its assessment on the basis of costs versus benefits, and thrown Israel overboard. Leaders in Jerusalem and Washington need to conduct their own reassessment.

The US has reached out to Turkey during the Erdogan era and received very little in return, starting with Ankara forbidding the US Army’s Third Infantry Division to enter Iraq overland through Turkey. Had that force worked its way south toward Baghdad in 2003, history might well have played out differently in terms of the strength of the Iraqi insurgency and its capacity to generate years of unrest and kill thousands of US troops.

With no one willing to call Mr. Erdogan to account, his Islamist regime regularly bashes the press, narrows the parameters of civil liberties at home, and defends terrorists such as Hamas abroad. In return, President Obama traveled 5,000 miles to Ankara in 2009 to extol the virtues of the Erdogan regime.

For a change, when Turkey talks about flexing its muscles in the Mediterranean, the US should remind Ankara that the US has interests in the region, and that the Sixth Fleet is still in business. And Congress once and for all should remind Turkey that there is no statute of limitations on genocide. With Ankara so keen on seeking apologies, it’s time we heard Turkey offer one for the massacres of a million or more Armenians during and after World War I, as well as an offer of reparations payments for Armenian families.

Turkey seems to think the US no longer matters, that its own destiny as regional superpower is assured, and that no one can challenge its moralistic stance as it sits grandly in judgment of all its neighbors. Whether the US can succeed in influencing Turkish behavior remains to be seen. But the days of going to the diplomatic table with a basket of carrots and no sticks must end.

Mr. Rosen is chairman of the American Council for World Jewry.

Stolen History

View this document on Scribd

The Durban Perversion

Source Link: FrontPageMag

The Durban Perversion

Written By Joseph Klein

September 23, 2011

Literature available at the first Durban conference

The United Nations hosted a full-day celebration on September 22nd commemorating the tenth anniversary of one of its greatest embarrassments since its founding: the adoption of the so-called Durban I Declaration and Programme of Action. This Declaration was the final outcome document of the 2001 anti-Semitic, anti-Western hatefest known formally as the UN World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance. It singled out the Palestinians as the victims of alleged Israeli racism. And the Holocaust deniers who were running Durban I refused to include any reference to the twentieth century’s most vile example of racism, genocide and crimes against humanity.

The “Durban III” self-congratulatory anniversary conference resulted in a consensus reaffirmation of the Durban I Declaration and Programme of Action, as well as the Outcome Document of the Durban II Review Conference adopted in 2009 – the conference Iranian President Ahmadinejad opened with an attack on Israel, which he called the most racist country in the world.

Expecting the anti-Israel, anti-Western agenda to continue at the Durban III conference, thirteen nations decided to boycott the conference – New Zealand, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, Austria, Germany, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Poland (which is currently heading the European Union), Israel, and the United States. However, that left 180 UN member states that took no such action against this obscene perversion of the concepts of true anti-racism, tolerance and human rights.

Anne Bayefsky, Hudson Institute senior fellow and director of the Touro College Institute on Human Rights & the Holocaust, correctly pointed out that there is a direct link between the UN’s Durban III gathering on September 22nd and the General Assembly address of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas the following day seeking full state recognition and membership in the United Nations.

“It’s clear that this is intended to be a one-two action: You label Israel racist, and then the next day you say you don’t have to negotiate with it,” Bayefsky said. “Durban is not about combating racism, it is about demonizing Jews and the Jewish state.”

Durban III continued the propaganda campaign waged by the Palestinians and their friends in the United Nations to delegitimize Israel. However, at first glance, if one did not know its historical context, the Durban III final statement would seem perfectly benign. Its surface message is that racism and related acts of intolerance and discrimination occur on a daily basis all around the world. It calls for increased action and accelerated implementation of measures to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.

The authors of the statement made it as plain vanilla as possible in order to attract as many supporters as they could. Iran did not play a visible role in the planning of the conference this time. Its minister of foreign affairs, Ali Akbar Salehi, filled in at the conference for President Ahmadinejad, who saved his vile remarks for a speech he delivered to the UN General Assembly on the same day as Durban III. Ahmadinejad predictably repeated his golden oldies from past UN speeches, including his Zionist conspiracy theories and questioning who was behind 9/11.

But Ahmadinejad knew that Durban III would achieve its sinister objectives by stealth – reaffirming previous anti-racism world conference declarations going back to 1978 that had expressly promoted the Palestinians’ false narrative that they were the victims of Israeli racism and apartheid. This was just a few years after the UN General Assembly had equated Zionism with racism. While that toxic resolution was revoked in 1991, the campaign to delegitimize the right of Jews to have a single state of their own in their own historic homeland continues.

The first World Conference to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination was held in Geneva back in 1978.  In its Declaration and Programmes of Action, this conference concluded that “[A]partheid, the extreme form of institutionalized racism, is a crime against humanity and an affront to the dignity of mankind and is a threat to peace and security in the world.” While it focused attention on the apartheid regime of South Africa, this document specifically linked Israel to that regime and condemned “the insidious propaganda by the Government of Israel and its zionist and other supporters against the United Nations organs and against Governments which had advocated firm action against apartheid.”   One paragraph accused Israel of practicing “diverse forms of racial discrimination against Palestinians affecting all aspects of their daily lives in a manner which prevents their enjoyment of their elementary human rights on a basis of equality.”

This declaration, written in 1978, decried “the cruel tragedy which befell the Palestinian people 30 years ago and which the (sic) continue to endure– manifested in their being prevented from exercising their right to self-determination on the soil of their homeland, in the dispersal of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, the prevention of their return to their homes…”

The second World Conference to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination, also held in Geneva, took place in August 1983 and repeated the same rhetoric. It called for “the cessation of all the practices of racial discrimination to which the Palestinians and other inhabitants of the Arab territories occupied by Israel are subjected.”

In 1997, the UN General Assembly called for a World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, to take place no later than 2001.

Iran led the planning for the United Nations’ 2001 Durban I Conference. The Durban I Declaration, which the UN member states participating in Durban III just reaffirmed, referenced all the prior anti-Israel declarations from the previous UN-sponsored world conferences against racism mentioned above.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation and its allies in the non-aligned movement held sway at Durban I, and the Palestinians were singled out as victims of racism. In fact, the “anti-racist” Durban I conference turned into a racist hatefest against the Jewish state. It was marked by vitriolic displays of anti-Semitism, which were so bad that the United States walked out of the conference.

Iran headed up preparations for the equally biased follow-up Durban II Review Conference in 2009. Several delegates, mostly from the European Union, walked out during Ahmadinejad’s speech. Most delegates, however, not only remained for the speech, but applauded at its conclusion. Fortunately, the United States, along with Australia, Canada, Germany, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and Poland, had boycotted the whole conference, rightly sensing in advance that something like this would happen.

It is this litany of lies that the Durban III conference has decided to reaffirm. The common theme running through the litany is that Israel’s “neo-colonialist” Zionist regime should be isolated by the international community for committing alleged “racist crimes” against the “oppressed” Palestinian victims.

Nevertheless, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay voiced their strong support for this perversion of human rights and platform for the world’s worst human rights abusers, which has characterized the whole Durban process from the start.

With a straight face, Navi Pillay actually said that the Durban I Declaration and Programme of Action, as well as the outcome of the 2009 Durban II Review, provide a “comprehensive framework to address the scourge of racism.” Did she bother to take a look at the list of dictatorships that were given a forum to spew their hate and hypocrisy? Does she really consider, for example, that the racist Arab regime of Sudan, which has embarked on a campaign of murdering, ethnically cleansing and enslaving millions of indigenous black Africans – a campaign that continues today – is committed to addressing the scourge of racism? Apparently the organizers of the Durban III conference thought so, since Sudan was given the honor of addressing the conference on behalf of the Group of African States. Since Sudanese President Omar Hassan Ahmad Al-Bashir was facing arrest on warrants issued for five counts of crimes against humanity (murder, extermination, forcible transfer, torture and rape) and two counts of war crimes (pillaging and intentionally directing attacks against civilians), it would have been a bit risky for him to make a personal appearance.

The honors went to Rahamtalla Mohamed Osman Elnor, Sudan’s undersecretary, ministry of Foreign Affairs, who complained about  – what else — the transatlantic slave trade.  He said that the African Group for whom he spoke welcomed the actions undertaken to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the end of the transatlantic slave trade and the establishment of a permanent memorial at United Nations Headquarters.

The Sudanese undersecretary also threw in apartheid, colonialism and what he called the “new and emerging forms of slavery such as human trafficking.”

If only the United Nations would have had the moral courage to have invited to the Durban III podium, instead of Bashir’s mouthpiece, a heroic Sudanese refugee and survivor of child slavery in Sudan. Kudos to Anne Bayefsky for organizing a conference of sanity and truth across the street on the same day as the Durban III circus, at which this Sudanese refugee, Simon Deng, was given an opportunity to speak.

At the counter-Durban III conference, titled “The Perils of Global Intolerance: The United Nations and Durban III,” Mr. Deng told of how he was nine years old when he was enslaved by an Arab family. He was forced to work around the clock, beaten, and subject to harsh living conditions for three years. Mr. Deng was not alone. Hundreds of thousands of Sudanese have been kidnapped and sold into slavery. Here was a living demonstration of the “emerging forms of slavery such as human trafficking,” perpetrated within Sudan by the racist Arab government and population, which Sudan’s undersecretary so piously condemned at the Durban III conference.

Mr. Deng managed to escape permanent enslavement, but thousands of other blacks in Sudan remain in slavery. The UN, he said, knew about the Arab enslavement of black Sudanese and the Arab government’s policy of apartheid against the black population, but chose to do nothing. His fellow blacks and other persecuted minorities were abandoned by the UN, Mr. Deng said, in favor of giving the racist Arabs a global platform to persistently push their false accusations of Israeli racism against the Palestinians.

By ignoring the true victims of racism, such as Simon Deng, and providing a platform to the racists themselves to excoriate Israel and other democracies, the United Nations has forfeited whatever moral authority and legitimacy it may have had at its founding.


Overview: Israel’s Rights as a Nation-State in International Diplomacy

Filed under: Arab Nations, Israel, Laws, Palestine — - @ 6:48 pm

Click on the title for a PDF copy of the study.

Source Link: JCPA.Org

Overview: Israel’s Rights as a Nation-State in International Diplomacy

Overview Written By Alan Baker

  • A concerted campaign is being waged against Israel to question its very legitimacy in virtually every aspect of its historical, political, and cultural life, with the aim of undermining the very foundations of Israel’s existence.
  • In response, several world-renowned experts have joined to present an authoritative exposition of Israel’s Rights as a Nation-State in International Diplomacy, published jointly by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and the World Jewish Congress.

As the United Nations is about to be manipulated by a Palestinian attempt to impose its statehood on the international community in a manner that undermines a vital negotiating process based on the UN’s own resolutions, a concerted campaign is being waged against Israel by Palestinian, Muslim, and other non-Arab elements in the international community to question the very legitimacy of Israel in virtually every aspect of its historical, political, and cultural life, with the aim of undermining the very foundations of Israel’s existence.

In response, several world-renowned experts have joined to present an authoritative exposition of Israel’s Rights as a Nation-State in International Diplomacy, edited by Alan Baker, former legal counsel of Israel’s Foreign Ministry and former ambassador to Canada, and published jointly by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and the World Jewish Congress.

The National Rights of Jews

Prof. Ruth Gavison, Professor (emerita) of Human Rights at the Faculty of Law of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and recipient of the Israel Prize in Law (2011), challenges the often- repeated denial by the Arabs of the rights of Jews to establish their own nation. The Jews have always had the characteristics of a nation, both ethnical and cultural, and not only religious. This was true before Israel was established and it is true today. It is justified for Jews to have sought revival of their political independence in their ancient homeland – Zion.

Zionism is not a colonial or an imperialist enterprise. The Arab population in pre-state Israel had never enjoyed or established political independence, and Jews were at liberty to seek political revival in the only place in the world that had been their homeland.

“An Overwhelmingly Jewish State” – From the Balfour Declaration to the Palestine Mandate

World-renowned British historian and author Sir Martin Gilbert, who is Winston Churchill’s official biographer, discusses how Great Britain viewed the right of the Jews to a national home in Palestine. The Times of London declared on September 19, 1919: “Our duty as the Mandatory power will be to make Jewish Palestine not a struggling State, but one that is capable of vigorous and independent national life.”

Winston Churchill announced publicly on March 28, 1921: “It is manifestly right that the Jews, who are scattered all over the world, should have a national center and a National Home where some of them may be reunited. And where else could that be but in the land of Palestine, with which for more than 3,000 years they have been intimately and profoundly associated?”

On June 3, 1922, the British Government issued a White Paper, known as the Churchill White Paper, which stated: “During the last two or three generations the Jews have recreated in Palestine a community, now numbering 80,000….It is essential that it should know that it is in Palestine as of right and not on the sufferance. That is the reason why it is necessary that the existence of a Jewish National Home in Palestine should be internationally guaranteed, and that it should be formally recognized to rest upon ancient historic connection.”

Churchill told the 1937 Palestine Royal Commission: “We committed ourselves to the idea that someday, somehow, far off in the future, subject to justice and economic convenience, there might well be a great Jewish State there, numbered by millions, far exceeding the present inhabitants of the country and to cut them off from that would be a wrong.”

Self-Determination and Israel’s Declaration of Independence

Israel Prize recipient Prof. Shlomo Avineri, Professor of Political Science at the Hebrew University and Director-General of the Israel Foreign Ministry in the first term of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, analyzes Israel’s right to self-determination in the context of its Declaration of Independence. He notes that the Arabs of Palestine and Arab states went to war not only against the emerging Jewish state, but also against a UN resolution in the only known case when member states of the UN not only did not abide by a UN resolution but went to war against it.

Had the Arab community gone through a profound internal debate and come out of it – as did the Jewish community – with an acceptance, however reluctant, of the compromise idea of partition, be it on moral or realistic grounds, or both – history would have been different: on May 15, 1948, two states – Israel and Palestine – would have been established. There would have been no 1948 war, no Palestinian refugees, no nakba, no further Arab-Israeli wars, no terrorism, and no Israeli reprisals. This could have happened – but it did not. The moral and political responsibility rests on the shoulders of the Arab side. Had the Palestinian Arabs and the countries of the Arab League chosen a different path, this would have made the Middle East a region of prosperity, mutual respect, progress and abundance for all its peoples.

Despite the difficult war situation, the practical steps taken by the newly established, independent State of Israel reflected the country’s willingness to abide by obligations inherent in the UN partition plan. Israel adopted a multicultural approach toward its Arab minority, maintaining the status of Arabic as an official language. Israeli Arabs send their children to schools which teach in Arabic, with the curriculum tailored to their culture.

The acceptance by most Israelis today of a two-state solution – of a Jewish and a Palestinian state living in peace with each other – is a testimony to the fact that, despite decades of war and siege, the fundamental decision adopted by the Jewish community in 1947 continues to guide the moral compass of the Jewish state.

The United Nations and Middle East Refugees: The Differential Treatment of Arabs and Jews

Dr. Stanley A. Urman, Executive Director of Justice for Jews from Arab Countries (JJAC), contrasts the considerable diplomatic advocacy and discussion concerning the Palestinian refugee issue with the utter lack of consideration for the Jewish refugee issue. The mass violations of the human rights of Jews in Arab countries and the displacement of over 850,000 Jews from their countries of birth has never been adequately addressed by the international community, although on two separate occasions, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) specifically declared that Jews fleeing from Arab countries were indeed refugees “who fall under the mandate” of the UNHCR.

From 1949 to 2009, General Assembly resolutions focused much greater attention on the issue of Palestinian refugees (163 resolutions) – some 20 percent – than on any other Middle East issue. There were never any General Assembly resolutions that even mention Jewish refugees from Arab countries. Since 1947, billions of dollars have been spent by the international community to provide relief and assistance to Palestinian refugees. During that same period, international resources provided to Jewish refugees from Arab countries were negligible.

For the United Nations or other international entities to continue to ignore or reject the rights of Jewish refugees from Arab countries is to validate past and continuing injustice.

Israel’s Rights Regarding Territories and the Settlements in the Eyes of the International Community

For over 40 years, it has been persistent UN practice to repeat in parrot fashion the phrases “Israel the occupying power,” “the occupied Palestinian territories,” and to refer to Israel’s settlement activity as illegal, irrespective of the facts and the correct legal situation. Amb. Alan Baker stresses that the Israel-Palestinian Interim Agreement of 1995, signed by Israel and the PLO, was witnessed by the United States, the European Union, Egypt, Jordan, Russia, and Norway, and supported by the UN. This agreement changed the status of the territory and the status of each of the parties to the agreement as well.

Israel’s continued presence in Area C of the West Bank, pending the outcome of permanent status negotiations, enjoys the official sanction of the PLO. It cannot, by any measure of political manipulation or legal acrobatics, be considered “occupied territory.”

Construction activity by each side in those parts of the territory under their respective control was expressly permitted in the agreement. Israel’s presence in the territory of the West Bank, pending the outcome of permanent status negotiations, was with the full approval of the Palestinian leadership and thus is not occupation.

Furthermore, analysis of the introduction to the 4th Geneva Convention as well as the official International Red Cross Commentary to it makes it very clear that Article 49 of the Convention was never intended to apply, and cannot apply, to settlement activity carried out by Israel.

The Historical and Legal Contexts of Israel’s Borders

Prof. Nicholas Rostow, senior director of the U.S. National Defense University’s Center for Strategic Research, addresses the claims against Israel’s rights to defensible and recognized borders. He notes that UN Resolution 242 left open for negotiation where Israel’s final boundaries would be in exchange for withdrawal from Egyptian, Jordanian, Syrian, and disputed territory, rather than requiring a restoration of the 1949 Armistice Demarcation Lines as the international boundary of Israel. The resolution thus treated that boundary only as marking a minimum Israeli territory. Resolution 242 arguably entitled Israel to more territory than that. Adjustments were contemplated, as implied by the requirement for “secure and recognized boundaries.”

The Misleading Interpretation of Security Council Resolution 242 (1967)

Israel Prize recipient Prof. Ruth Lapidoth, former legal adviser to Israel’s Foreign Ministry and member of Israel’s negotiating team, analyses the way in which Israel’s rights are being consistently negated through misleading interpretations of UN Security Council Resolution 242. The resolution does not request Israel to withdraw from all the territories captured in the 1967 Six-Day War and does not recognize that the Palestinian refugees have a right to return to Israel.

The establishment of secure and recognized boundaries requires a process in which the two states involved actually negotiate and agree upon the demarcation of their common boundary. The UN Security Council did not regard Israel’s presence in the territories as illegal. As an act of self-defense, this military occupation was and continues to be legitimate, until a peace settlement can be reached and permanent borders agreed upon.

Defending Israel’s Legal Rights to Jerusalem

Israel’s rights regarding Jerusalem are perhaps one of the most sensitive issues on the agenda of the international community. Amb. Dore Gold, former ambassador to the United Nations and currently President of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, sets out Israel’s rights regarding the city. The Jewish people restored their clear-cut majority in Jerusalem not in 1948 or in 1967 but in 1863, according to British consular records. This transformation occurred well before the arrival of the British Empire in the First World War and the Balfour Declaration. It even preceded the actions of Theodor Herzl and the First Zionist Congress. Indeed, in 1914 on the eve of the First World War there were 45,000 Jews in Jerusalem out of a total population of 65,000.

In the last seventeen years, a number of key misconceptions about Jerusalem took hold in the highest diplomatic circles in the West as well as in the international media. When Israel signed the Oslo Agreements in 1993, for the first time agreeing to make Jerusalem an issue for future negotiations, that did not mean that Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin planned to divide Jerusalem.  On October 5, 1995, one month before he was assassinated, he detailed to the Knesset his vision for a permanent status arrangement with the Palestinians: “First and foremost, united Jerusalem, which will include both Ma’ale Adumim and Givat Ze’ev – as the capital of Israel, under Israeli sovereignty.”

In the years of the Arab-Israeli peace process, proposals were raised and considered for the re-division of Jerusalem, but no binding agreements were actually reached and brought to the Knesset for ratification. Israeli opinion remained firm about the rights of the Jewish people to retain their united capital under the sovereignty of Israel. The recognition of those rights in the future by the international community will depend on Israel demonstrating that it alone will protect the Holy City for all faiths.

Palestinian Unilateralism and Israel’s Rights in Arab-Israeli Diplomacy

Dan Diker, Secretary-General of the World Jewish Congress and Adjunct Fellow of the Hudson Institute in Washington, addresses the attempt to deny Israel’s rights to settle the conflict through bilateral negotiation. UN support for or endorsement of Palestinian unilateral actions would clearly negate the principles of negotiated settlement of disputes as set out both in the UN Charter and in the major Security Council resolutions regarding the Middle East peace process.

A unilateral declaration of statehood by the Palestinians robs Israel of all its rights and negates the peace process’s validity in its entirety. The Palestinians’ rush to unilateral statehood cannibalizes the basis of all past agreements including those that established the Palestinian Authority, and ignores and dismisses the concessions already made by Israel during the Oslo Accords and in later agreements.

Is the Gaza Strip Occupied by Israel?

In light of the attempts to represent Israel as if it is still occupying the Gaza Strip, even after having evacuated its forces and citizens from the area, Col. (res.) Pnina Sharvit-Baruch, former head of the IDF International Law Department who served as legal adviser to the Israeli negotiating teams during Israeli-Palestinian and Israeli-Syrian peace negotiations between 1993-2009, places the legal status of Gaza in the correct perspective.

The evacuation of Israeli citizens and IDF forces from Gaza was aimed to reduce friction with the Palestinian population and improve Palestinian living conditions. The hope was that the Palestinians would take advantage of the opportunity created by Israel’s disengagement to break the cycle of violence and reengage in a process of dialogue. Israel is clearly not an occupier of Gaza. Israel has fully withdrawn and carries out no governmental authority over the population in the area.

According to the Supreme Court of Israel: “Israel is under no general obligation to provide for the welfare of the residents of the Gaza Strip and to preserve the public order there, according to the body of laws pertaining to belligerent occupation in international law.” Israel does not possess full control over the external perimeter of Gaza and has no effective control over the area. Thus, there is no valid legal basis to regard Israel as the occupying power of the Gaza Strip. The Hamas government exercises effective powers of government there. Consequently, the laws of occupation do not apply.

The Violation of Israel’s Right to Sovereign Equality in the United Nations

Amb. Alan Baker notes that since becoming a member of the UN in 1949, Israel has been denied its Charter-based right to “sovereign equality,” and is the only UN member state that is excluded from the UN geographical groupings and that cannot be elected to the Security Council, the International Court of Justice, or any other major UN body. Sovereign equality in the UN – judicial equality, equality of voting, equality in participation in all UN activities and processes, and equality in membership in all forums – break down with respect to Israel, which is clearly discriminated against.

Since Israel has been excluded from its geographical regional group – the Asian Group – by vote of the Arab and Muslim members of that group, and is not accepted as a full member in the Western European and Others Group (WEOG), Israel is being denied its UN Charter-guaranteed equality.

In such a situation, Israel can never put up its candidacy for membership in the Economic and Social Council, or other major UN organs. It is denied any chance of having its jurists chosen as candidates for the major juridical institutions, tribunals, and courts within the UN system, and it cannot participate in consultations between states, organized within the regional group system, to determine positions and voting on issues, resolutions, and other matters. In 1998, the UN Secretary-General called “to rectify an anomaly: Israel’s position as the only Member State that is not a Member of one of the regional groups….We must uphold the principle of equality among all UN member states.”

Sir Robert Jennings, former President of the International Court of Justice, wrote in 1999: “Exclusion of one member from an essential part of the workings of an international organization in which all other members are entitled to participate is a crude breach of the rule on non-discrimination.” He continued: “I venture to suggest that Israel’s exclusion should no longer be tolerated; and that it is now an issue of primary importance for the [UN] Organization itself to see that it be remedied.”

Countering Challenges to Israel’s Legitimacy

Persistent and oft-repeated charges against Israel’s legitimacy, such as the charge that Israel is an illegitimate, “colonial” state; that it secured its statehood unlawfully; that it is an apartheid state; and the claim for a “one-state solution” are analyzed by the eminent U.S. jurist Prof. Alan M. Dershowitz, Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. He notes that the Jewish refugees in Palestine had established their homeland without the assistance of any colonial or imperialist power. They relied on their own hard work in building an infrastructure and cultivating land they had legally purchased. These Jews had the right to determine their own future consistent with the Wilsonian principle of self-determination.

Israel’s statehood was secured lawfully by, among other instruments and acts, the Balfour Declaration of 1917, the 1922 League of Nations Mandate, the 1937 Peel Commission Report, the 1947 United Nations partition resolution, Israel’s Declaration of Independence, subsequent recognition of the State of Israel by numerous world powers, and Israel’s acceptance into the United Nations. What other country has its origins so steeped in international law?

A binational state would not only imperil Israel’s Jewish population, but would eradicate the one state in the Middle East that affords its Muslim citizens more expansive civil liberties and political prerogatives than any other. Israeli Arabs are better off – as measured by longevity, health care, legal rights, even religious liberty – than other Arabs in the Middle East.

*     *     *

This book will serve as a vital tool for all those who are genuinely interested in looking through the shallow and clichéd attempts by those in the international community who are determined, for whatever reason, to question Israel’s legitimacy and to deny its rights.

About The Authors

Prof. Ruth Gavison, Professor (emerita) of Human Rights at the Faculty of Law of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and recipient of the Israel Prize in Law

Sir Martin Gilbert,world-renowned British historian and author, Winston Churchill’s official biographer

Prof. Shlomo Avineri, Professor of Political Science at the Hebrew University and former Director-General of the Israel Foreign Ministry, Israel Prize recipient

Dr. Stanley A. Urman, Executive Director of Justice for Jews from Arab Countries (JJAC)

Amb. Alan Baker, former legal counsel of Israel’s Foreign Ministry and former ambassador to Canada

Prof. Nicholas Rostow, senior director of the U.S. National Defense University’s Center for Strategic Research

Prof. Ruth Lapidoth, former legal adviser to Israel’s Foreign Ministry and member of Israel’s negotiating team, Israel Prize recipient

Amb. Dore Gold, former ambassador to the United Nations and President of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

Dan Diker, Secretary-General of the World Jewish Congress and Adjunct Fellow of the Hudson Institute in Washington

Col. (ret.) Pnina Sharvit-Baruch, former head of the IDF International Law Department who served as legal adviser to Israeli negotiating teams in 1993-2009

Prof. Alan M. Dershowitz, Professor of Law at Harvard Law School


Egypt Overlooked in State Department’s Religious Freedom Report

Egypt Overlooked in State Department’s Religious Freedom Report

Washington, D.C. (September 16, 2011) – International Christian Concern (ICC) commends the Obama administration’s designation of eight nations as “countries of particular concern” (CPCs) – a classification appointed to countries that severely violate religious freedom – in the State Department’s Annual Report on International Religious Freedom released on Tuesday. However, the report failed to designate Egypt as a CPC despite the increase of violence targeting religious minorities and the killings of more than fifty Christians in 2011.

On April 28, the U.S. Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), an independent, bipartisan U.S. federal government commission, had recommended for the first time that the State Department designate Egypt as a CPC. “Instances of severe religious freedom violations engaged in or tolerated by the government have increased dramatically,” said USCIRF Chair Leonard Leo. “Since President Mubarak’s resignation from office in February, such violence continues unabated without the government’s bringing the perpetrators to justice.”

Attacks against Egyptian Christians in 2011 include, but are not limited to:

  • The bombing outside the Church of the Two Saints on New Year’s morning that killed 23 worshippers leaving a midnight mass celebration in Alexandria.
  • The destruction of a church by a Muslim mob following reports of a romantic relationship between a Christian man and a Muslim woman in the village of Sol on March 5.
  • The killing of nine Coptic Christians by a radical mob and the Egyptian military while Copts were protesting in the Mokattam Hills in Cairo on March 9.
  • The killing of twelve Christians and Muslims by an Islamist group that attacked St. Mina Church and Virgin Mary Church in the Imbaba district of Cairo on May 7. One church was burned to the ground and numerous Christian-owned apartments and shops were vandalized and looted.

Egyptian Christians are also concerned that religious freedom will decline further if Islamist-based parties win the majority seat in Egypt’s parliament in elections scheduled for November. The Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party is the most organized and financed contender in the elections and has publicly stated their intention to institute forms of Sharia (Islamic law) in the country.

While the U.S. gives 1.3 billion dollars in foreign military assistance to the Egyptian government annually, a CPC designation can carry economic sanctions if the Egyptian government fails to address U.S. concerns. Several U.S. congressmen have voiced frustration to ICC over the “illogical” approach taken by the U.S. in continuing to give billions of dollars in aid to a government that is yet to be elected and that may not be interested in honoring previous agreements made between the U.S. and Egypt, like maintaining a peace treaty with Israel.

Egypt should be classified as a CPC,” Coptic scholar Magdi Khalil told ICC. “Further monitoring of persecution, like the special envoy to promote religious freedom in the Middle East known as [house bill] H.R. 440, would be pushed forward quicker and taken more seriously if Egypt was a CPC.”

Aidan Clay, ICC Regional Manager for the Middle East, said, “In light of increasing attacks on Christian communities and the Egyptian government’s failure to enhance security and institute nondiscriminatory reforms to protect religious minorities, we urge the Obama administration to strongly consider designating Egypt as a CPC. A CPC designation will give the U.S. additional leverage to place sanctions on existing military and emergency economic aid and to direct a portion of that aid to enhance security for religious minorities and fund civil society groups who are adamant about promoting religious freedom.”

Source Link: Persecution.Org

Christians in Somalia bear the brunt of Al-Shabaab’s terror

Christians in Somalia bear the brunt of Al-Shabaab’s terror

By: Fernando Perez
Saturday, 17 September 2011

The decapitated body of a Christian man, Juma Nuradin Kamil, was found in Bakool region of southwestern Somalia on Sept. 2. The killing, one of the numerous such incidents in recent years, comes at a time when tens of thousands of Somalis have died, and about 750,000 more are at risk of death, some of them Christians who are being denied aid, in the wake of the 21st century’s worst drought in the Horn of Africa.

The Christian, whose head was severed and put on his chest, was killed by the Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen (Mujahideen Youth Movement), commonly known as al-Shabaab, an al-Qaeda-linked terror group that controls and runs a de facto “government” in most of southern Somalia. The group is also restricting international aid from reaching the starving population in territories under their control, especially to the Christians, WEA-RLC has learnt.

The al-Shabaab splintered from a now defunct group of Sharia courts, the Islamic Courts Union. It is fighting to overthrow the Transitional Federal Government, created in 2004 backed by the African Union, the United Nations and the United States. Since the outbreak of the 1991 civil war which overthrew President Siad Barre’s regime, most parts of Somalia have had no formal government. The transitional government controls only a small part of the country.

The al-Shabaab, which generally wages war against “enemies of Islam,” was created after the Islamic Courts Union was ousted by forces from neighboring Ethiopia in 2006. It had the backing of Iran, Libya, Egypt and others in the Persian Gulf region, according to a UN report. And after Ethiopia withdrew from Somalia in 2009, the al-Shabaab grew stronger and turned even more extremist.

Somalia tops the Failed States Index 2011 by Foreign Policy magazine.

The al-Shabaab imposes an extremely strict version of Sharia, or Islamic law, in southern parts under its control. In 2008, a 13-year-old girl accused of adultery, but actually gang-raped, was buried up to her neck in the field of a soccer stadium packed with spectators, and then stoned to death, according to an article in The New Yorker.

Recently, African Union forces were able to “drive out” al-Shabaab from the capital city of Mogadishu, but reports suggest that the militants’ moving out was a tactical decision to bring about a greater destruction.

There are roughly 10 million people in Somalia, mostly Sunni Muslim. It is estimated that the country has little more than 1,000 Christians, most of them from the Bantu ethnic group. The country has no church building; Christians meet for worship underground, especially in southern parts.

The al-Shabaab particularly hates the minority followers of Sufism, which it finds “heretic,” and the miniscule Christians, who it labels as “agents of Ethiopian intelligence agencies.” The Christian-majority Ethiopia supports the interim government, although it had troubled relations with Somalia.

Agence France-Presse recently quoted an al-Shabaab spokesman, Sheikh Ali Mohamud Rage, as saying that providing aid during calamities was a “strategy” of the United Nations to “transport them [Somalis] abroad, especially in Christian countries like Ethiopia and Kenya, so that their faith can be destroyed and that they could be staff and soldiers for the Christians.”

Al-Shabaab’s hatred for Christians surpasses its concern for the lives of over four million people, the majority of them Muslim, who are affected with the drought. The group is distributing aid as per its limited capacity, but no one who is a Christian, or suspected to be one, is receiving any aid, some Christian groups have reported.

The famine has also hit the al-Shabaab, as hundreds of thousands of people who pay protection taxes to the outfit have fled its territories to Kenya and Ethiopia. And many, even within the terror group’s leadership and powerful local clan leaders, are holding the al-Shabaab responsible for the crisis, according to the Council on Foreign Relations.

However, the crisis may not lead to a temporary ceasefire or lifting of the ban on international aid agencies, which could also eventually help human rights groups to discuss protection of minorities. Since the al-Shabaab is no longer a group with a centralized power and there are many factions, intervention by an outside force is extremely difficult in the absence of a true representative of the group.

While the style of functioning of one faction in one territory may be different from that of another faction in another territory, each faction is known to be equally brutal in implementing Sharia and enforcing compliance from the residents.

While there are some Sufi armed groups under the banner of Ahlu Sunna Waljama’a to fight al-Shabaab militants, Christians in Somalia have no voice or protection at all. Christians complain that even the Transitional Federal Government does not treat them well. President Sheikh Sharif Sheik Ahmed, who heads the internationally recognized government, has also adopted Sharia law with death for apostasy.

The international community is rightly being blamed for the current crisis, at least partially, in terms of the response to the unprecedented drought. The same is true in case of the rising Christian persecution in Somalia.

Like there were early signs of the drought worsening in the region that once used to be the bread basket of the country, international Christian groups had been reporting on killings, rape and torture of members of the country’s most vulnerable minority. But little was done to avert either of the crises.

Despite sanctions imposed on Eritrea by the UN Security Council, it reportedly continues to supply arms to the al-Shabaab, according to a 2010 report by the UN International Monitoring Group. If the sanctions have not proven to be effective, an alternative must be formulated.

In addition, it is widely believed that the military and police of the transitional government – though trained by the European Union, Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya – are weak and inefficient, and the administration corrupt. The government relies heavily on the roughly 8,000 troops of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

Moreover, the Transitional Federal Government occupies Somalia’s seat in the United Nations, maintains embassies in 19 countries, and has fairly good relations with the West, and yet it could not be prevented from enacting laws that violate international law or encouraged to show respect for religious freedom.

Concerning the al-Shabaab, it is extremely difficult to deal with the group. But inaction is definitely not the correct response it requires. Perhaps, efforts should be made to reach out to the militants, or their various factions, for the sake of the innocent people living in the territories under its control, even if that involves making some concessions initially. Or else, a strategy should be made to gain control over al-Shabaab territories.

World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) Religious Liberty Commission (RLC) sponsors this WEA-RLC Research & Analysis Report to help individuals and groups pray for and act on religious liberty issues around the world. WEA has a consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council.

Source Link: Christian Today


Girl strangled to death in name of honour

Girl strangled to death in name of honour

Staff Report

LAHORE: A 15-year-old girl was allegedly strangled to death by her uncle in the name of honour in Shera Kot Police limits on Wednesday.

The deceased was identified as Anam, daughter of Ramzan, resident of Ghousia Park. Police said that the deceased’s uncle, Talib Hussain, who was residing at his brother-in-law’s house, suspected that Anam had illicit relations with a Christian youth of the same area.

On the day of incident, Talib entered the house and strangled Anam to death and managed to escape from the crime scene. She was taken to a local hospital where the doctors pronounced her dead. Police, after being informed, reached the spot and shifted the dead body to a city morgue. Police registered a case against the accused on the complaint of deceased’s father, Ramzan.

Separately, two unidentified persons were found dead from Bhaati Gate and Islampura police jurisdictions. A 35-year-old man’s dead body was recovered from Bhaati Gate Police precincts. The deceased, yet to be identified, was lying dead along a roadside near Data Darbar. A passersby spotted the dead body and informed police. Police reached the spot and shifted the dead body to a city morgue for autopsy.

Source Link: Daily Times

Emphasis added by me

Muslim Extremists in Sudan Threaten to Target Christians

Muslim Extremists in Sudan Threaten to Target Christians

KHARTOUM, Sudan — Muslim extremists have sent text messages to at least 10 church leaders in Khartoum saying they are planning to target Christian leaders, buildings and institutions, Christian sources in Khartoum said.

“We want this country to be purely an Islamic state, so we must kill the infidels and destroy their churches all over Sudan,” said one text message circulating in Khartoum last month. The text messages were sent in July and August.

Church leaders here said they fear more persecution as they and their flocks become targets of local Islamists. In addition, Muslim extremists from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh arrive in Sudan every two weeks to undergo training in secret camps in Khartoum before they are sent to various parts of Sudan to preach Islam and demolish church buildings, according to a Christian source in Khartoum.

On July 18 a group of Muslim extremists attacked the home of Anglican Church of Sudan Bishop Andudu Adam Elnail in an attempt to kill him and two other pastors, Luka Bulus and Thomas Youhana, who all happened to be out of the house at the time, sources said. No one was hurt, but the assailants left a threatening letter warning them of similar attacks.

Bulus is a supporter of the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement, a southern Sudan militant group long locked in battle with northern government forces, further making him a target of Islamic extremists. Bishop Elnail, whose church building the Sudanese military burned in June in war-torn Kadugli of South Kordofan region, oversees Nuba Mountain Episcopal churches as head of the Kadugli Episcopal Diocese.

Bulus confirmed the July 18 house attack, which took place in Omdurman, the twin city of Khartoum, at around 7 p.m., by telephone from his hiding place. Muslim extremists are still searching for him, the sources said.

“We are aware of your anti-Islamic activities,” the letter left in Bishop Elnail’s home states. “We have been monitoring the evangelization that you carry out these days, and therefore we declare Jihad against you.”

The letter left on the gate of the bishop’s house asserts that Sudan is an Islamic land, and that the authors secretly plan to carry out a series of attacks to destroy church buildings across “Sudan,” which denotes the north following the secession of South Sudan on July 9.

“We declare Jihad against you in order to protect Muslims from your infidel influence, because you are the enemy of Islam,” it states.

Christian sources in Khartoum said they take the threats seriously.

“These people are not joking – they can kill any Christian,” said a church leader who requested anonymity for security reasons.

Elnail of the Kadugli Episcopal Diocese told a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee on Africa on Aug. 4 that he was not sure he would be alive if he had not been called to Washington, D.C. to testify.

“I am told that armed men went house to house, searching for me, calling my name,” Elnail reportedly told the congressional representatives.

In an incident on June 28, Muslim extremists burned down a church building belonging to the Lutheran Evangelical Church of the Sudan at 7:38 p.m. in Omdurman. Christian sources said two people were seen running out of the church building as it went up in flames.

“The Muslims are targeting our church in fear that many Muslims will leave Islam for Christianity,” says a Lutheran Evangelical Church of the Sudan letter, written in Arabic, that was circulated to churches in Khartoum.

The destroyed Evangelical Lutheran Church building was opposite the Ansar Al Suna Mosque, where preachers publicly insult Christianity every Friday, a Christian source said.

Hostilities toward Christians by the Islamic government in Khartoum began to increase last year following a statement by President Omar al-Bashir, when he asserted that his second republic would be based on sharia (Islamic law) and Islamic culture, with Arabic as the official language.

The Rev. Ramadan Chan Liol, general secretary of the Sudan Council of Churches, told Ecumenical News International last month that threats have caused Christians to stay away from some church services, and some government leaders have ordered pastors to close down churches without proper documentation.

Source Link: Cross Walk

No rights or drinking water for residents in one of Islamabad’s Christian ghettoes

No rights or drinking water for residents in one of Islamabad’s Christian ghettoes

by Jibran Khan

Such is the Fate of Hundreds of residents of the France Colony, a walled area of some 600 dwellings, some of Theme One-room hovels for up to seven people, living in inhuman conditions and poor sanitation. Residents slam the Authorities for Their lack of concern about you and the government for Their ITS EMPTY promises. An educational project by the Foundation Masihi Could Improve things.

Islamabad (AsiaNews) – Forced into a ghetto without basic human rights, Pakistani Christians Often lack drinking water and decent sanitation, with up to seven people living in one-room hovels, children included. Many call the France Colony home, an area in central Islamabad That is isolated from the rest of the city by a wall. Despi complaints, nothing has changed. Now, there is a glimmer of hope after the Masihi Foundation set up a school for local children, Providing Them with books, bags and uniforms free of charge, to project activists hope to bring to the rest of the country.

With 1.6 per cent of the population and some 3 million believers, Pakistan’s Christian minority is the country’s second largest religious minority after the Hindus. For a long time, it has-been the victim of marginalisation and violence, made ​​worse by the progressive Islamisation of the country Launched by General Zia-ul-Haq in the mid-1980s.

Most Christians are rural migrants. When They arrive in the cities, They Are Forced to live in colonies so-called, virtual ghettoes, humble and take jobs as cleaners and sanitation workers with a status comparable to That Of India’s untouchables.

The Colony France (pictured) is in the heart of Pakistan’s Federal Capital of Islamabad. ITS gets it name from the fact That the old French Embassy was located in the area. It has 600 dwellings, Surrounded by a wall. Access is provided by one main entrance, plus three or four openings Rarely used, on the other side of the compound.

Muhammad Saddique, a local Muslim, said the wall was built after That local “rich and noble Muslim families ‘called on City Officials to Protect Them from the eyesore of the’ Christian ghetto. However, this has forced Christians to use only the main gate.

Yaqoob Masih, resident in France Colony, blames the Capital Development Authority (CDA) for depriving “us of our basic rights,” such as “the right to clean drinking water” and “hygienic conditions”.

The irony Is that “90 per cent per cent of the population works in the France Colony as cleaners for CDA and the Capital Keeps clean. Yet, Their Own colony has unhygienic conditions. ”

The colony residents live in overcrowded spaces with no access to basic facilities, “Shahid Masih, another resident, said. “Residents have not Been Given ownership rights Despi repeated promises by the federal government. I live in one room with a family of seven. ”

Sheeba lives in France Also Sadiq Colony. “Each incoming government claims about rights regularisations Makes Populist.” But “in the second decade of the 21st century, we are still living in subhuman conditions.”

Yet, amid the degradation, one initiative has Brought some hope for a better life to the Christians of France Colony.

Earlier this year, the Foundation Masihi, humanitarian organization in Pakistan, set up own school in the area of ITS, Providing free quality education to the medium Italiano residents of France Colony.

It is the first program of ITS kind for a Christian community living in the capital. Students get free books, bags, uniforms and other educational material.

Activists are Hoping to replicate the initiative in other parts of the country.

“I am grateful to the Foundation for thinking about us,” resident colony Abid Masih said. “I want my children educated so That They can live a better life.”

Source Link: Asia News

Report Card on the 9/11 Commission’s Recommendations

Filed under: Dhimmitude, National Security, Nuclear, Obama, Progressives, Terrorism — - @ 2:03 pm
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A Tale of Two Obamas

Filed under: National Security, Obama — - @ 6:17 pm

A Tale of Two Obamas

Source Link: Family Security Matters

Written By Frank Gaffney, Jr.

Barack Obama was even more prominently featured in the news on Sunday than is usual for a President of the United States, what with his four appearances that day in 9/11-related events.  These opportunities afforded him the chance to appear dignified, non-partisan and, well, presidential.  A more illuminating sense of the man and his presidency, however, was provided by a curiously bipolar treatment of Mr. Obama in that day’s Washington Post.  Call it a tale of two Obamas.

On the one hand, columnist Dana Milbank scathingly described what he called “President Irrelevant.”  Milbank not only chronicles the jaded response of many Republicans to Mr. Obama’s pitch for his new jobs bill.  He also describes the unconcealed lack of enthusiasm congressional Democrats are now exhibiting for the leader of their party.

On the other hand, the Post also served up a double-dose of fatuous spin from Obama partisans about the President’s derring-do as a hands-on leader in combating terrorism.  In a putative “news” article entitled “Obama Scores Well Against Terrorism” and in a column by David Ignatius under the headline “The Covert Commander-in-Chief,” we are assured that the man who has publicly dithered on myriad issues and so bungled the economy and his relationships with members of both parties on Capitol Hill as to have become “irrelevant” has been stunningly decisive and successful in the secret campaign against our terrorist foes.

For example, Ignatius declares that, “Intelligence is certainly an area where the president appears confident and bold.” The retired general Mr. Obama appointed as Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, goes so far as to declare unctuously that his boss is “a phenomenal user and understander of intelligence.”  Barack Obama is, we are told, a president who “prizes his authority to conduct covert action.”  A case in point is supposedly his decision to opt for the most risky of three options with respect to Osama bin Laden, namely sending in the SEALs (albeit, after 16 hours of struggling with the question).

The spinners behind the puffery about the president’s skillful stewardship of his counterterrorism responsibilities are promoting the idea that, as the Post‘s “news” account had it, “National security has gone from being Obama’s big political weakness to his only area of policy strength.”  For example, presidential handler (and obviously primary source for the spin) David Alexrod told the paper, “I don’t think the remaining al-Qaeda leadership that’s on the run would think of [Obama] as a weak leader.”

Republicans are portrayed as taking the bait. They are described as giving Mr. Obama a pass on national security or, worse, deferring to him on the grounds that he bagged bin Laden.

Such spin, and the lack of a robust GOP response to the President’s national security stewardship to date, would be laughable were the implications not so serious.  While the take-down of Osama bin Laden and other al Qaeda operatives is certainly welcome, they do not begin to offset President Obama’s serial failings as Commander-in-Chief.  Such failings have had a far worse effect than making him “irrelevant.”  They have helped to make the world a vastly more dangerous place for America, her people and others who love freedom.

A necessarily illustrative list of ways in which such dangers are arising would include the following examples:

Israel is likely soon to be engulfed in yet-another war for its very survival.  Straws in the wind are: the sacking of its embassy in Cairo over the weekend and intensifying attacks on its territory and natural gas pipelines from territory at least nominally controlled by Egypt; the portentous approval next week by the UN General Assembly of the Palestinians’ demand for recognition of their unilaterally declared state; the increasingly overtly hostile posture towards Israel being taken by Turkey under its Islamist prime minister, Recep Erdogan; the arming to the teeth of jihadists in Libya; Lebanon under the control of Iranian proxy, Hezbollah; the prospect that the Muslim Brotherhood will emerge ascendant as Syria unravels; and Iran’s incipient nuclear weapons capability.

China is becoming increasingly assertive in the South China Sea and elsewhere as its military build-up progresses, its economic power becomes more dominant and its colonial expansionism spans the globe.  Last week, the Washington Times’ Bill Gertz reported that in 2008 Chinese naval vessels and bombers temporarily blinded and repeatedly buzzed the crew of a U.S. Navy survey ship.  Unfortunately, far worse is in prospect.  That is especially true if the U.S. Senate buys into the false promise that the fatally flawed Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) will somehow safeguard our rights of passage, despite our declining ability to project power in the face of growing Chinese access-denial capabilities.

The evisceration of our military and its supporting industrial base – which will be the hallmark of the Obama policy legacy – will be a far more important determinant of our future security and that of the Free World more generally than all of President Obama’s putative decisiveness in the fight against al Qaeda.  Today’s spin will be the subject of tomorrow’s ridicule as we inevitably reap the whirlwind of wars that could have been prevented.

The key question is:  Will Republicans be able to show that they opposed the abandonment of the time-tested principle that Ronald Reagan called “peace through strength”?  Or will they prove to the American people that they were “irrelevant” – or worse, complicit – in conduct by Mr. Obama that will cost us greatly in lives and treasure? Contributor Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. is President of the Center for Security Policy, a columnist for the Washington Times and host of the syndicated program, Secure Freedom Radio, heard in Washington on weeknights at 9:00 p.m. on WRC 1260 AM.

What Do the Arabs of East Jerusalem Really Want?

Filed under: Arabs, Israel, Jerusalem, Palestine — - @ 1:04 pm

What Do the Arabs of East Jerusalem Really Want?

Written By David Pollock

Source Link: JCPA

  • According to face-to-face surveys conducted according to the highest international standards, more Palestinians in east Jerusalem would prefer to become citizens of Israel rather than citizens of a new Palestinian state. In addition, 40 percent said they would probably or definitely move in order to live under Israeli rather than Palestinian rule.
  • 44 percent of the Palestinians in Jerusalem say they are very, or at least somewhat, satisfied with their standard of living. This is a very high percentage compared to other populations in the Arab world. Only about 30 percent sympathize with either Fatah or Hamas or with the Israeli Arab Islamic movement. Politics is not a major preoccupation.
  • Three-quarters of east Jerusalem Arabs are at least a little concerned, and more than half are more than a little concerned, that they would lose their ability to write and speak freely if they became citizens of a Palestinian state rather than remaining under Israeli control.
  • Significantly, 41 percent thought that the armed conflict probably or definitely would continue even after a peace agreement, and this is from the most moderate population of Palestinians. Only a third say that a unilateral declaration of Palestinian independence backed by the UN would have a positive effect on their lives. Two-thirds say that such a unilateral step would have no positive effect.
  • For people who tend to assume that a fair and practical solution for the Jerusalem issue is for the Arab neighborhoods to become part of Palestine and the Jewish neighborhoods to become part of Israel, these findings suggest that this could be somewhat problematic from the point of view of the people who actually live in east Jerusalem.

The “Arab Spring”: The Eruption of Public Opinion

All around the Middle East we see the eruption of public opinion as an important, and perhaps even a decisive, factor in the politics of various Arab countries. For the first time in recent memory, the ordinary people in these countries are becoming empowered to change the course of their own governments. This indicates how vital it is for us to try to understand and measure not just what the politicians say, but what the people think.

In Egypt during the revolution, in cooperation with Pechter Middle East Polls, we used Arab interviewers to conduct a telephone poll in Cairo and Alexandria at the very moment that thousands of Egyptians were out in the streets demanding the overthrow of Mubarak. We found that the main reasons for the Egyptian revolution were internal economic issues, not issues of Islam, America, Israel, or any foreign policy issues, or even political issues such as democracy or freedom. The issues were more about economic opportunity, inequality, corruption and abuses, and the ineffectiveness of Egypt’s government to provide for its own people’s basic needs. This is what motivated the people in Egypt to overthrow their government.

In retrospect, these results fit well with another poll that I did in Egypt a year before the revolution. When Egyptians were asked in an open-ended way what was on their mind, they were much more concerned about internal issues, and especially economic ones including corruption.

In a poll that I took in 2011 in Jordan, sympathy for al-Qaeda was around 20 percent. When we asked Jordanians what they would do if they knew there was someone from al-Qaeda in their own neighborhood, some 10 percent were willing to say they would help an al-Qaeda fugitive in their own neighborhood rather than turn him in to the authorities. As never before, people are willing to give honest answers to the toughest questions.

300,000 Palestinians in 19 Neighborhoods

What do the almost 300,000 Palestinians living in 19 Arab neighborhoods in the eastern half of Jerusalem actually think? What do these people want? What do they think about their experiences under Israeli rule? How do they see the future of their city?

We conducted solid surveys conforming to the most rigorous international standards. In east Jerusalem the total sample was 1,039, which means a margin of error of less than 3 percent. The sample covered the entire city, every single neighborhood, and was based on face-to-face interviews. The sample was representative of the overall Palestinian population of the city by age, education, gender, occupation, neighborhood, and income.

Some 44 percent report a monthly household income of NIS 4,800 ($1,400) or more. Almost half of the total population enjoys a lower middle class or higher standard of living, much better than Palestinians in the West Bank and approximately the same as Arab citizens of Israel inside the 1967 lines, but significantly lower than that of the Israeli Jewish population. In comparison to other Palestinians in the West Bank, and certainly in Gaza, the standard of living of Palestinians in east Jerusalem is reasonably good.

At the end of the survey, once respondents felt reasonably comfortable answering increasingly nosy questions, we came to the bottom line issue: If you had to choose, would you prefer to be a citizen of Israel or a citizen of a new Palestinian state. We found that more Palestinians in east Jerusalem would prefer to become citizens of Israel rather than citizens of a new Palestinian state: 35 percent would prefer to become citizens of Israel, 30 percent citizens of Palestine, and 35 percent either don’t know or refused to answer.

After the interviews were completed, we did a statistical analysis of the 35 percent who said they did not know, and analyzed their responses to other questions in the survey in order to make a judgment. We determined that the people who said they did not know or would not answer were in the middle in their views on all the different issues that make up their lives. Statistically speaking, that 35 percent leans slightly in the direction of the people who say they would prefer Israeli rather than Palestinian citizenship. Out of 50 different variables that we analyzed, the people that said “I don’t know” or “I refuse to answer,” answered more like the people who preferred Israel on 27 of those 50 variables, more like the people who said Palestine on 17 of those variables, and exactly in the middle on the rest of the 50 variables.

Pollsters often use a sort of trick question when they are asking about very controversial issues. In order to make it safer to answer, we ask people what they think their neighbor thinks, or what do people like them think about the issue. When we asked that question, we found that slightly more, 39 percent, said they thought that most of their neighbors would prefer Israeli to Palestinian citizenship. This gives us an indication that the answers to this question are probably honest. When people say roughly the same thing about what they think and what they think their neighbors think, that is usually an indication in polling practice that people are telling you candidly what their real opinions are.

We went a step further and asked people an even harder question: Would they move in order to be a citizen of whichever side they preferred if that choice became a necessity as part of a peace settlement or as part of a division of the city between Palestinian and Israeli rule? When we asked people whether they would move into Palestine, most said no, but when we asked whether they would move in order to become a citizen of Israel if their existing neighborhood came under Palestinian rule, fully 40 percent of the Palestinians in east Jerusalem said they would probably or definitely move in order to live under Israeli rather than Palestinian rule.

We presented these results to the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington and New York, and there were Palestinian activists present. As one of these Palestinians put it, the PA has a problem with this population – they are not on their side. We also presented these results to a Palestinian audience in east Jerusalem and found that they are convinced that these are valid findings. They conform to their own experiences and perceptions of the people around them.

In addition, we found that there is not a whole lot of difference in most demographic categories on most questions. In other words, young and old, rich and poor, better educated and less educated are not that different. The younger segment of the population is slightly more inclined to say that they would prefer Israeli citizenship, but not by a whole lot.

Even in Shuafat refugee camp, where attitudes are the least moderate, you do not get a majority saying that they would rather be Palestinian citizens, which is incredible and even counter-intuitive.

Why Palestinians Feel the Way They Do

Why do these people feel that way? They are Palestinians after all. Why would so many of them become Israeli rather than Palestinian citizens, and even move to Israel in order to make that choice possible?

First, 44 percent of the Palestinians in the city say they are very, or at least somewhat, satisfied with their standard of living. This is a very high percentage compared to other populations in the Arab world that I have studied.

Second, we found that many of these Palestinians are generally pretty satisfied with a lot of important issues in their daily lives, including education, access to a nearby place of worship, health care, and basic services such as electricity and water. There is a significant percentage that has a neutral or even a negative view of these issues, but in every case, the majority is satisfied with all of these aspects of life. It actually turns out that less than half of the Palestinians in east Jerusalem are dissatisfied with their personal interactions with Jews in the city, with their ability to obtain travel documents, with their personal interactions with municipal officials, or with disability benefits.

To be fair, we found that a majority of Palestinians in east Jerusalem – 56 percent – did report that they feel there is a great deal or a fair amount of discrimination against them by the municipality. In other words, they feel there is official, not social, discrimination against them. Yes, they are reasonably satisfied with a lot of things, but that does not mean that they feel, on the whole, that they are being treated equally.

At the same time, almost half of the Palestinians report that corruption by PA officials is a big or at least a moderate problem for them personally.

Palestinians in east Jerusalem have a special status and blue identity cards like Israelis, which enable them to travel into the West Bank or into Israel. Unlike West Bank or Gaza Palestinians, they are very mobile and not isolated either from Palestinians or from Israelis. There is a high incidence of travel to west Jerusalem, to other areas of Israel, to the West Bank, and also quite a high level of interaction with Jewish citizens of Israel. This is a population which often works in the western side of the city and has often been educated in Israeli institutions.

We found that identity as a blue card holder is almost as important to these people as their identity as Palestinians or even as Muslims. That helps to explain why such a high percentage, if faced with the choice, would choose to be citizens of Israel and preserve some special status and their access to education, employment, travel, and social benefits, rather than give up those benefits and privileges in return for Palestinian citizenship.

In east Jerusalem, only about 30 percent sympathize with either Fatah or Hamas or with the Israeli Arab Islamic movement. This is a population whose political sympathies are not that strong or well-defined in comparison with their focus on their own personal identities – either religious, national, economic, or social. Politics is not a major preoccupation.

Finally, we asked the Palestinians directly and in an open-ended way why they wanted to be a Palestinian citizen or an Israeli citizen. For most Palestinians who said they wanted to be citizens of Israel, approximately 35 percent said it was practical issues that dominate – freedom of movement, higher income, health insurance, job opportunities, prosperity, more shops, and much lower down the list came issues of politics, culture, and law and order. Much higher on the list were practical concerns. When we looked at the Palestinians who said they would rather be citizens of Palestine, for 30 percent, practical issues were not very important. Issues of nationalism, identity, religion, and getting rid of discrimination were the issues that dominated among this group.

People were concerned that if they became a citizen of Palestine, they had significant worries about losing employment in Israel, free movement in Israel, Israeli health care, and reduction in city services. They were also concerned about an increase in corruption and most of all about the possibility of losing access to the Old City and the Al Aksa mosque, which was highest on their list of concerns.

Many of the concerns that these people have are very similar to the top concerns that are being expressed all over the region in public opinion and in the Arab uprisings that we are now witnessing from Egypt to Tunisia to Yemen. People are concerned most of all about economic opportunities, about corruption, and about freedoms, such as the freedom to write and speak freely. Three-quarters of east Jerusalem Arabs are at least a little concerned, and more than half are more than a little concerned, that they would lose their ability to write and speak freely if they became citizens of a Palestinian state rather than remaining under Israeli control.

If they became part of Israel, their concerns about the moral misconduct of their children was fairly high on the list. They are, generally speaking, a religious and conservative group. Even though educated and young, on the whole, a fairly high proportion of the population are concerned about what they see as the more lax moral standards or more progressive atmosphere in Israeli society compared to their ideal of Muslim society and culture. Interestingly, 60 percent cared about access to the beach. They travel in Israel quite a lot, so they think about access to the beach when they consider their future.

Will There Be an End to the Conflict?

Today the peace process is going nowhere. Even if the peace process does produce an agreement, this will not necessarily be more than a piece of paper, nor will it necessarily be the end of conflict. We asked the Palestinians in Jerusalem: If there is an agreement, will the conflict continue anyway? Significantly, 41 percent thought that the armed conflict probably or definitely would continue even after a peace agreement, and this is from among, in other respects, the most moderate population of Palestinians.

Then we asked: How did they think people in their own neighborhood would react to an agreement? Some 31 percent said that about half or more of the people in their own neighborhood would support the continuation of the armed struggle against Israel even after a peace agreement.

We also asked: If the negotiations collapsed, how likely is a new intifada in east Jerusalem? Only 27 percent said very likely, but an additional 37 percent said somewhat likely. In other words, putting those two figures together, almost two-thirds of east Jerusalem Palestinians said that a new intifada is at least somewhat likely if peace negotiations completely collapse.

Only a third of the Palestinians in east Jerusalem say that a unilateral declaration of Palestinian independence, even one backed by the United Nations, would have a positive effect on their own lives. Two-thirds say that such a unilateral step would be no more than an empty declaration and would not have a positive effect on their lives. If the Palestinians proceed down this path, it could be a recipe for trouble within their own population because of the expectations that are being raised. The almost inevitable disappointment that is likely to follow could lead, in my view, to an intifada not only against Israel but against the Palestinian Authority, along the lines of the uprisings that we have seen in other parts of the Arab region in recent months.

Most Arabs who are polled do not like and are really afraid of Iran. This holds true for Egypt, Jordan, everybody but the Shiites in Lebanon, and the Saudi public, which really does not like Iran. In many of these countries, 40 percent or more support sanctions against Iran. That is a very high percentage in support of international pressure against a fellow Muslim country. A third of the Saudi public said that they wanted the United States to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities. Iran has few friends in the region among the ordinary people, and that is good to know. On the other hand, the Palestinians have a terrible opinion of the United States and are more favorable towards Iran than most Arabs.

Implications of the Findings

In my opinion, these findings should have an effect at least in refining the discussion of Jerusalem, and it is also important from an American government or a broader international perspective. For people who tend to assume that a fair and practical solution for the Jerusalem issue is for the Arab neighborhoods to become part of Palestine and the Jewish neighborhoods to become part of Israel, these findings suggest that this could be somewhat problematic from the point of view of the people who actually live in east Jerusalem.

This factor needs to be taken into account or we are going to end up with a very disgruntled population of Palestinians who will be forced to come under Palestinian rule when a plurality do not want that. At a minimum, there needs to be some arrangement that responds to people’s personal needs and aspirations, not just to their collective identity or political leadership.

*     *     *

Dr. David Pollock is the former chief of Near East/South Asia/Africa research at the U.S. Information Agency. He is the principal advisor to Pechter Middle East Polls and a senior fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, focusing on the political dynamics of Middle Eastern countries. Dr. Pollock previously served as senior advisor for the Broader Middle East at the State Department, a post he assumed in 2002. This Jerusalem Issue Brief is based on his presentation at the Institute for Contemporary Affairs at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs on April 28, 2011.

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