Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror: Misplaced Frustration

by Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror

Operation Protective Edge, which ended after 50 days of fighting and without the toppling of the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip, has left many people frustrated.

This feeling stems from two reasons: the first is the Jewish tendency to see the glass half empty -- we never seem to be happy with what we have. Many times it is that feeling that pushes us to do better and the Gaza campaign is no exception, so Gaza's rulers should be well aware of the fact that in this case, our glass is three-quarters full. The second reason is a gap in expectations. Many were under the impression that Israel had set out to topple the Hamas government in Gaza, or that is should have at least declared it to be an operational objective. This mistaken impression can be attributed to the fact that no one explained how such a mission could be accomplished. 

I have explained in the past that once Hamas' terror tunnels were destroyed, the government faced two options, and that it had to choose between seizing control of the Gaza Strip, as a way of ousting Hamas, or gradually intensifying the military campaign until a cease-fire agreement was reached.

The various statements calling to "cut off the snake's head," "deal Hamas a surprising blow" or "bolster Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' position," were nothing but empty slogans that failed to explain how those goals should be achieved. After all, the military did not need the public's advice on how to carry out the operation on the ground or how to target senior Hamas operatives. 

Some had tried to be clearer, speaking of the need to "dissect the Strip" or "seize Gaza's command and control centers and its weapons manufacturing sites," but these suggestions did not take into account Gaza's unique nature. "Dissecting" the Strip would only be the prelude to a wide-scale ground operation -- otherwise there would be no point to it. Gaza's north is relatively independent from its south, and the move would have made Israeli soldiers vulnerable from all directions. As for seizing the various command and control centers and weapon mills in Gaza -- that would be impossible without first seizing control of most of its urban areas, as these sites are scattered across the Strip.

Once it was decided not to seize control of the Gaza Strip, that rule should have been upheld adamantly. That is why it would have been wrong to heed the demands for a wide-scale ground operation, which might have produced heroes and headlines, as well as several Hamas casualties, but it would have contributed nothing to the operation's results -- maybe even the opposite.

Such a move could have caused more harm than good. Had we chosen to embark on a ground operation only to eventually withdraw the troops as part of an agreement, and after having suffered multiple casualties, everyone would have asked why we decided to go into Gaza in the first place, and Hamas would have declared a victory over said withdrawal. 

Israel made sure to reiterate the truth: The operational objective -- other than eradicating the terror tunnel's threat -- was striking an agreement based on the principle of "quiet will be met with quiet." Once it was made clear that Hamas had set its sights higher, demanding things like an airport and a seaport, Israel did the right thing by saying that if the negotiations were about more than a truce, then it too had a demand, namely the full demilitarization of the Gaza Strip. After all, if we were to discuss more of Hamas' demands, it was only fair to discuss more of Israel's demands as well. 

Had the cabinet ordered the IDF to seize control of the Gaza Strip there is no doubt it would have executed that order in full and without hesitation, but there is no doubt that the decision that was eventually made was legitimate; some would say prudent and wise. 

I do not wish to debate which of the two moves would have been better, or whether this was a choice between two evils. The important thing to remember is that once the decision was made, those making it were wise to stand their ground and refrain from zigzagging between options, which would have been a big mistake. 

I am not frustrated by the results of Operation Protective Edge because I understand Israel's objectives: dealing Hamas a debilitating blow, eradicating the terror tunnels, and rejecting any change in the status quo that defines Israel's relations with Gaza and the limitations imposed on the Strip. 

Having achieved all of this, I have no problem with the operation's results -- although I also have no doubt that we need to start preparing for the next Gaza campaign.

Maj. Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror is a former national security adviser and a senior fellow at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies.


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Soeren Kern: Why Europe Must Not Be Trusted to Monitor Hamas

by Soeren Kern

Hamas would likely resort to violence to thwart any attempts to disarm the group. It is therefore highly unlikely the Europeans would confront Hamas in any meaningful way.
Spanish intelligence agents met secretly with Hezbollah operatives, who agreed to provide "escorts" to protect Spanish UNIFIL patrols. The quid pro quo was that Spanish troops would look the other way while Hezbollah was allowed to rearm for its next war with Israel. Hezbollah's message to Spain was: mind your own business.
If the European experience with Hezbollah in Lebanon is any indication, not only will Hamas not be disarmed, it will be rearmed as European monitors look on and do nothing.
What is clear is that European leaders have never been committed to honoring either the letter or the spirit of UN Resolutions 1559, 1680 and 1701, all of which were aimed at preventing Hezbollah from rearming.

European leaders are calling for a greater European role in enforcing the cease-fire in the Gaza Strip. They say their focus should be not only on rebuilding Gaza, but also on monitoring the demilitarization of Hamas and helping to secure the border crossings between the Gaza and Egypt to ensure that Hamas cannot be rearmed.

But if the European experience with Hezbollah in Lebanon is any indication, not only will Hamas not be disarmed, it will be rearmed as European monitors look on and do nothing.

French President François Holland, in a major foreign policy speech in Paris on August 28, said Europe should play a greater role in Gaza. "Since 2002, Europe has done a lot to rebuild and develop Palestine […] but it cannot simply be a cashier used to heal the wounds after a recurring conflict," he said.

Referring to a nascent proposal for creating a Gaza observer mission under the auspices of the European Union, Hollande added: "Gaza can no longer be an army base for Hamas, or an open-air prison for its inhabitants. We have to go towards a progressive lifting of the blockade and the demilitarization of the territory."

The EU observer mission—which is being promoted by Britain, France and Germany and would be established by a United Nations Security Council resolution—would be based at the Rafah border crossing, the main crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt. The mission would be charged with preventing the smuggling of weapons into Gaza and ensuring that building supplies such as cement and metal products are used for civilian reconstruction projects and not for building tunnels and rockets.

According to German media reports, the mission would be "more political than military," which implies it would not be tasked with disarming Hamas.

The Israeli government has insisted that the reconstruction of Gaza must be linked to its demilitarization. "The process of preventing the arming of terror organizations must be part of any solution, and the international community must demand this aggressively," Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu said on July 28.

This demand has been repeated by Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. In an article entitled, "Take Away Their Guns—Then We'll Talk," published by Foreign Policy magazine on August 27, Lieberman wrote: "It should thus be entirely obvious that unless Hamas is disarmed and its only tools of control removed, there can be no peace and security." He continued:
Any discussion on opening up entry points into Gaza, increasing access to the sea for Gazans, or any steps necessary for the revitalization of the Strip and its inhabitants cannot take place while it is occupied and terrorized by Hamas.
Israel fully supports a broad international effort to provide all the necessary means to rebuild the civilian infrastructure and economy in Gaza, provided there is a concerted parallel effort to prevent Hamas from rearming itself with weapons systems and rebuilding its terrorist infrastructure. Hamas cannot be allowed to rebuild its military force and prevent the essential international aid being directed to the Palestinian residents.
Lieberman also pointed out that the disarmament of Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups has been an essential element of a long list of agreements and understandings between Israel and the Palestinians. These include the Oslo II Accord signed in 1995, the Wye River Memorandum negotiated in 1998, and the so-called Road Map accepted by the Palestinian Authority in 2003.

But the exiled leader of Hamas, Khaled Meshaal, has vowed that the group will never disarm. "The weapons of the resistance are sacred and we will not accept that they be on the agenda" of future negotiations with Israel, he said on August 29. "The issue is not up for negotiations. No one can disarm Hamas and its resistance."

Meshaal also said the conflict between Israel and Hamas is not over. "This is not the end. This is just a milestone to reaching our objective [of destroying Israel], we know that Israel is strong and is aided by the international community," he said. "We will not restrict our dreams or make compromises to our demands."

Hamas—an Islamist group whose raison d'être is the destruction of Israel—would probably resort to violence to thwart any attempts to disarm the group. It is therefore highly unlikely the Europeans would confront Hamas in any meaningful way.

The reluctance to disarm Hamas has much in common with the failure to disarm Hezbollah.
In September 2004, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1559, which, among other demands, called for the disarmament and disbanding of Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias.

Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah has flatly rejected Resolution 1559; he says he considers his organization to be a "resistance movement." Nasrallah has said:
We do not consider ourselves a militia. The Lebanese government does not consider us a militia, the parliament does not consider us a militia, and most of the Lebanese people do not consider us a militia. Therefore the resolution does not apply to us.
In May 2006, the Security Council adopted Resolution 1680, which reiterated the "call for the full implementation of all requirements of Resolution 1559 […] and called for further efforts to disband and disarm all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias and to restore fully the Lebanese Government's control over all Lebanese territory."

In August 2006, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1701, which ended the 34-day war that began when Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid into Israel. During the war, Hezbollah fired more than 4,000 rockets and missiles against Israel, killing 44 civilians. The resolution called for the disarmament of all armed groups in Lebanon, including Hezbollah. It also called for the:
full implementation of the relevant provisions of the Taif Accords, and of resolutions 1559 (2004) and 1680 (2006), that require the disarmament of all armed groups in Lebanon, so that, pursuant to the Lebanese cabinet decision of July 27, 2006, there will be no weapons or authority in Lebanon other than that of the Lebanese state.
Then—as now—world leaders seemed more concerned about preventing Israel from defending itself, than about disarming the Islamic terrorist groups that initiated the fighting in the first place by attacking Israel.

While visiting Haifa in July 2006, then French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy had to take cover from Hezbollah-launched Katyusha rockets. At the time, Douste-Blazy said: "The first condition for a cease-fire is of course the disarming of Hezbollah."

Then French President Jacques Chirac also warned against a continued Hezbollah armed presence in southern Lebanon. "It is absolutely normal to have a current which expresses politically what the Hezbollah part of Lebanese public opinion thinks," Chirac said in a radio interview in Paris. "What is unacceptable is to express it by the use of force, with armed militias. No country accepts that part of its territory be controlled by armed militias."

Chirac's defense minister, Michèle Alliot-Marie, promised that French peacekeepers would be operating with "strong rules of engagement" so that the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon [UNIFIL] could act "with rigor and strongly if it is necessary." She said: "These are the conditions necessary for the Force to be credible and dissuasive."

But as soon as France assumed command of an "enhanced" UNIFIL, one that included a new contingent of 7,000 European troops, the disarmament of Hezbollah was no longer on the agenda. Apparently, French officials became afraid that Nasrallah might activate Hezbollah sleeper cells in the cities of France.

"The disarmament of Hezbollah is not the business of UNIFIL," the French commander of UNIFIL, Major General Alain Pelligrini, said in September 2006. "This is a strictly Lebanese affair, which should be resolved at a national level."

Several days later, France became Hezbollah's chief protector, as French Air Force jets were reportedly patrolling the skies over Beirut during Hassan Nasrallah's victory speech. The French were apparently seeking to protect Nasrallah from Israeli assassins.

In late September, four UNIFIL tanks manned by French soldiers shielded Hezbollah terrorists by blocking Israeli tanks trying to stop the firing of mortar shells into Israel. A few weeks later, commanders of the French contingent in UNIFIL warned that they would open fire on Israeli warplanes if they continued their reconnaissance flights over Lebanon to search for clandestine shipments of arms to Hezbollah.

Meanwhile, the UN Secretary General at the time, Kofi Annan, also disclaimed responsibility for disarming Hezbollah. "UNIFIL troops are not going in there to disarm, let's be clear," he said. "The understanding was that it would be the Lebanese who would disarm Hezbollah," he said, knowing full well that the Lebanese government—outmanned and outgunned by Hezbollah—lacked the power to do so on its own.

UNIFIL not only did nothing to disarm Hezbollah. UNIFIL also did nothing to prevent the group from rearming, even after Hezbollah's representative in Iran, Muhammad Abdullah Sif al-Din, bragged that Nasrallah had a new strategic plan to rearm ahead of the "next round against Israel."

Italian UNIFIL soldiers on the beach in Lebanon, September 2006. (Image source: Julien Harneis/Wikimedia Commons)

As early as October 2006, Terje Roed-Larsen, the special UN envoy for Lebanon, reported that "there have been arms coming across the border into Lebanon." In April 2007, Walid Jumblatt, a senior Lebanese politician, told Al-Jazeera television that Lebanese security agents were helping Hezbollah guerrillas smuggle weapons across the porous border with Syria. In June of that year, Roed-Larsen warned the Security Council of an "alarming and deeply disturbing picture" of "a steady flow of weapons and armed elements across the border from Syria."

At the same time, Hezbollah began to push back hard against UNIFIL. In June 2007, for example, six Spanish troops were killed by a car bomb, just days after Spanish peacekeepers discovered a secret Hezbollah weapons depot in southern Lebanon. Hezbollah's message to Spain was: mind your own business.

Less than a month after those killings, it emerged that Spanish intelligence agents had met secretly with Hezbollah operatives, who agreed to provide "escorts" to protect Spanish UNIFIL patrols. The quid pro quo was that Spanish troops would look the other way while Hezbollah was allowed to rearm for its next war against Israel.

In November 2009, Israel's Navy intercepted a ship carrying 500 tons of Iranian weapons, rockets and missiles intended for Hezbollah. In April 2010, former US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said that Hezbollah "has more missiles than most governments in the world." In March 2011, an IDF intelligence report revealed that Hezbollah had built close to 1,000 military facilities throughout Southern Lebanon. The installations included more than 550 weapons bunkers and 300 underground facilities.

Meanwhile, Hezbollah stepped up its attacks against European peacekeepers in southern Lebanon. In May 2011, six Italian peacekeepers were wounded by a roadside bomb in the southern city of Sidon. In July, five French troops were wounded by a bomb in the same area. In December, five French peacekeepers were wounded by a roadside bomb in the southern coastal city of Tyre.

Rather than confront Hezbollah over the attacks, however, the governments of France, Italy and Spain cowered and announced the withdrawal of significant numbers of their troops from Lebanon.

In January 2012, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon demanded that Hezbollah be disarmed. "I am deeply concerned about the military capacity of Hezbollah and the lack of progress in disarmament," he said. "All these arms outside of the authorized state authority, it's not acceptable," he declared.

Nasrallah responded with mockery and contempt: "Your concern, secretary-general, reassures us and pleases us. What matters to us is that you are worried, and that America and Israel are worried with you," he said.

In July 2013, the European Union announced that it would place part of Hezbollah on its terrorism blacklist, ostensibly to cut off the Shiite militant group's sources of funding inside Europe. But in a classic European fudge, EU governments agreed only to blacklist the "military" wing of Hezbollah, thus maintaining the politically expedient fiction that a clear distinction can be drawn between Hezbollah terrorists and those members of the group's "political" wing.

Following the EU's decision, the editor of the pro-Hezbollah newspaper Al-Akhbar, Ibrahim al-Amin, issued thinly-veiled threats of "military" consequences for UNIFIL's European members, whom Amin said were now "operating behind enemy lines."

All the while, Hezbollah has continued to build an arsenal of ever-more powerful weapons that can reach deeper into Israel than ever before. According to the Israel Defense Force (IDF), Hezbollah has obtained sophisticated long-range surface-to-air missiles from Syria. The group has also acquired advanced guided-missile systems in preparation for its next conflict with Israel.

According to Brigadier General Itay Baron, director of military intelligence research for the IDF, Hezbollah now has around 65,000 rockets and missiles, many times the number it had on the eve of the 2006 war. Nasrallah hinted at this rearmament when he proclaimed that a future Hezbollah assault on Israel would "turn the lives of thousands of Zionists into a living hell."

During the past eight years of European leadership of UNIFIL, Hezbollah has more than fully rearmed itself while European soldiers have stood by and done nothing. What is clear is that European leaders have never been committed to honoring either the letter or the spirit of UN Resolutions 1559, 1680 and 1701, which were all aimed at preventing Hezbollah from rearming. So why would anyone now trust the Europeans to ensure that Hamas is disarmed or not rearmed?

Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute. He is also Senior Fellow for European Politics at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter.

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

INF Treaty Coming Apart?

by Debalina Ghoshal

According to former Bush administration official Stephen Rademaker, for the United States to respond to Russian violations of the treaty by pulling out of it would be "welcome in Moscow," which is "wrestling with the question of how they terminate [the treaty]" and thus, the United States should not make it easier for the Russians to leave.

After the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, when the Soviet Union and the United States were on the brink of a nuclear catastrophe, both parties apparently realized the need for some nuclear arms control measures. The Intermediate-Rage Nuclear Forces Treaty [INF], which came into force in December 1987, requires that both the Soviet Union and the United States eliminate their ground-launched, nuclear-capable ballistic and cruise missiles of ranges between 500-5500 km.

In recent times, however, both parties to the treaty, the United States and Russia, have accused one another of failure to comply with it.

The U.S. has apparently been "concerned" regarding Russia's compliance with the treaty since 2011.

In July 2014, reports stated that Russia had test-fired intermediate range cruise missiles of the model called the R-500 or the Iskander-K, and prohibited under the INF treaty. U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, Chairman of the House Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee, called this violation "cheating" that could put the United States and its allies in East Asia and Europe "at risk."

A camouflaged unit of the Russian R-500 (Iskander-K) missile system.

The U.S. seems justifiably alarmed by Russia's violation of the treaty. U.S. President Barack Obama rated this violation "a very serious matter." NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Philip M Breedlove, also claimed that the tests should not go "unanswered" and that they will be "dealt with."

President Obama, however, wrote a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin noting that the U.S. would still not violate the INF treaty by deploying the prohibited INF-range missile systems.

According to former Bush administration official Stephen Rademaker, for the United States to respond to Russian violations of the treaty by pulling out of it would be "welcome in Moscow," which is "wrestling with the question of how they terminate [the treaty]" and thus, the United States should not make it easier for the Russians to leave.

In addition, Russia also tested its RS-26 Rubezh ICBM several times for distances of about 2000 km, a range not permitted under the treaty.

The Russian Defense Ministry, however, responded that the RS-26 missile is a "new type" of ICBM [missiles with range of 5500 km and above] -- and not a prohibited intermediate range missile -- and thus "legally unconstrained" by the treaty.

Aleksey Arbatov, a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, chimed in that the missile is "technically beyond suspicion" and that the maximum range of the missile is 5700 km. A missile with range of 5700 km falls under the ICBM category and not under the intermediate range category. Another Russian military political analyst, Andrey Koshin, added that the United States had "used" the alleged violation "to boost global tensions in the background of the Ukrainian crisis and sanctions imposed on Russia."

And the Russian Foreign Ministry alleged that U.S. claims that Russia violated the treaty are based on "warped logic," and made "with little or no evidence."

Russia, according to Russia Today, believes it faces threats -- allegedly emanating from China, India, Pakistan, Iran and North Korea -- from medium range missiles.

Russia also might be concerned about the inclusion of Japan in the U.S. missile defense strategy. As Russia's defense minister stated during the first joint conference ever between Russia and Japan in November 2013, "We made no secret of the fact that the creation by the U.S, of a global missile defence system, including a Japanese element, is causing us grave concern, primarily over the possible destruction of the strategic balance of power in the Asia-Pacific region."

Russia has, however, been provoking clashes with Japan by claiming ownership Japan's Kurile Islands. Japan does not possess ballistic missiles at present, however its space capabilities involve several technologies "that could potentially be adapted to develop long range missiles."

Russia has also appeared "concerned" regarding the U.S. missile defense system in Europe, under the European Phased Adaptive Approach. The director of the department of non proliferation and arms control at the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mikhail Ulyanov, evidently assuming that this missile defense system could negate Russia's nuclear deterrent capability, has announced that such a policy "can undermine strategic stability."

Despite U.S. assurances that the missile defense system is not intended to be against Russia, but possibly against Iran, Putin, apparently not feeling reassured, has repeatedly threatened to withdraw from the treaty.

"Missile defence systems [in Europe] are defensive only in name" Putin said. He added that these systems are a significant component of a "strategic offensive potential," and that this missile defense deployment was an attempt by the U.S. to "create a new stage of American superiority in Europe" and "neutralize" Russia's nuclear potential.

Russia has also accused the United States of testing Hera missiles, which it claims are medium-range missiles. The production and flight-testing of these, under the Article 6 of the INF Treaty, are banned. The Russians seem concerned that that the United States "could considerably improve the capabilities of the Hera."

Washington responded that Article 7 of the Treaty permits the use of "boosters systems."

Yuri Solomonov, a Russian expert and the chief designer of Russia's modern nuclear systems, also accused the U.S. of testing other target missiles -- the Long Range Air Launched Target (LRALT) and the (Medium Range Target) MRT, up to 2000 km and 1100 km range respectively -- which could be a part of the Theater High Altitude Air Defence system to be deployed in U.S. allied territories such as Japan and Taiwan in the Asia-Pacific region.

Using target missiles in these ranges is apparently prohibited in the INF treaty. Despite Russian Foreign Ministry complaints about them, Russia was "met with no response."

Russia also raised concerns over the MK41 Vertical Launching System, planned to be deployed in Romania and Poland. Russia apparently believes it could be used to launch intermediate-range cruise missiles.

The INF treaty has proven that it is indeed possible to eliminate an entire class of nuclear weapons systems. However, considering the pace at which INF category missiles are being developed by states such as China, India, Iran, Israel, and North Korea, how far Russia and the United States will continue to adhere to the treaty remains to be seen.

Debalina Ghoshal is an Associate Fellow at the Centre for Air Power Studies, New Delhi, India.

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Multiculturalism and Islam

by Robert Klein Engler

Recently, the Hindustan Times ran an article noting that the Nalanda University has reopened after being destroyed 800 years ago. “… the new university took off with only two schools -- the school of ecology & environmental studies and the school of historical studies, seven faculty members and 15 students.”

We learn later in the article that Nalanda University was dealt its final blow in 1193 AD. Bakhtiar Khilji, a Muslim general of Qutbuddin Aibak, set out to uproot Buddhism in Northern India. “The Turkish invaders set ablaze and destroyed the huge library of the university, said to rival one at Luxor in Egypt.”

Muslims destroying a university may come as a shock to many professors in the West today, for it flies in the face of the multiculturalism they profess. It is too ironic to imagine multiculturalists supporting the very culture that would destroy them.

Can Muslims be multiculturalists? At its core, Islam does not allow for freedom of religion, yet this freedom would be considered one of the core principles of the multiculturalism we hear professed.

At the center of Islam is Mecca in Saudi Arabia. There are no Christian churches or Jewish synagogues in Saudi Arabia. The only religion allowed in Saudi Arabia is Islam. Christian activities, practices, books, and symbols are forbidden. This restriction is enforced by the religious police, the mutawa’een.

You’d think that in a multicultural world, nations should at least expect parity. If Saudi Arabia can fund and build a mosque in Chicago, then Catholics ought to be able to fund and build a church in Mecca.

What we find instead, is that if a Chicago Catholic wants to attend Mass in Saudi Arabia, then she has to do so in secret, usually in a private home. In Chicago, a Muslim can worship in public, and even openly preach against the society that welcomes him.

The logic of multiculturalism may demand parity, but you’ll be waiting ’til hell freezes over for Muslims in Mecca to be logical about multiculturalism.

Fortunately, unlike 800 years ago, students in the United States don’t have to worry about Muslims destroying our universities, at least for now. There is another logic at work. The universities are destroying themselves by allowing the ideology of multiculturalism over the values of patriotism.

Consider the interview of Professor Colleen Ward conducted by Mervin Singhas at Victoria University in New Zealand. Her views on multiculturalism are not too different from most university professors in the United States.

Professor Ward claims, “My thinking… is influenced by Professor John Berry from Queens University in Canada… I am in total agreement with him when he talks about a multicultural society being one that has three primary features… it is culturally diverse but that diversity is appreciated and positively valued.”

“Secondly, that all cultures, all ethnic or ethno-cultural groups in a society are able to a very large extent maintain their traditional cultural heritage and language… And thirdly, all of the ethno-cultural groups within a nation are able to participate in a fair and equitable way in that society.”

Then we learn a most startling fact from the professor. “Here’s where I would… say multiculturalism hasn’t failed in France, Germany and the UK. They’ve never had it. It’s never been tested.”

Never been tested? Has multiculturalism ever been tested in Saudi Arabia? The Saudis haven’t had multiculturalism, either, yet Professor Ward is blind to that cultural insight.

It is not only in the universities teaching about multiculturalism that we are blind. The blindness runs through many Western governments.

Writing in, Ghassan Hage, of the University of Melbourne claims,  “I want to concentrate on the case of Australia’s cultural policy toward immigrants to argue that Muslim immigrants in the West have become ‘the ungovernable’ of the multicultural governmental apparatus.”

Recently, German Chancellor Angela Merkel challenged the professors of multiculturalism and their supporters in the governmental apparatus. Chancellor Merkel told the young conservatives of her Christian Democratic Union that Germany’s attempt to create a multicultural society where people “live side by side and enjoy each other,” has “failed, utterly failed.”

Could it be that multiculturalism has failed because multiculturalism isn’t practical? The downfall of the multiculturalist is like the downfall of the glutton: someday he will eat a poison he cannot digest.

It may be too late to be practical and turn our cultural gluttony around. The bill for multiculturalism’s banquet is coming due.

Pat Buchanan realizes that soon there will be none left to pay what we owe. “Old Europe is dying,” Buchanan writes, (the United States, too?) “and the populist and nationalist parties, in the poet’s phrase, are simply raging “against the dying of the light.”

What many university professors refuse to see is that relativism is an intellectual exercise, not a way of life. No multicultural society in human history has ever survived. Multicultural societies have always been dominated by societies with a singularity of belief and purpose.

Many who profess multiculturalism also defend their ideas by making others feel guilty. “See, they argue, “We are better persons by being all-inclusive.” But the truth is multiculturalism does not make us better. It makes us weaker.

The next time you see the black flag of ISIS held high in the desert, think of Professor Colleen Ward and her lectures on multiculturalism. The warriors of ISIS may not have heard professor Wards’s lectures. If they have taken her course, then they’ve failed the exam. Or maybe the warriors of ISIS know it’s all nonsense.

The warriors of Islam know the enemy can be vanquished because the enemy is weak. The enemy is weak because of their belief in multiculturalism. The belief of ISIS is one and simple. “Allahu Ackbar!”

Robert Klein Engler lives in Omaha, Nebraska. He is a graduate of the University of Chicago Divinity School. His book,  A Winter of Words, about the turmoil at Daley College, is available from


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Caroline Glick: The Unfinished War

by Caroline Glick


Originally published by the Jerusalem Post

The war with Hamas is not over. What we are experiencing today is a temporary cease-fire.

The most basic reason the war is not over is because Hamas has no existence outside its war against the Jewish state. Hamas exists to obliterate Israel. The goal of each round of fighting is to soften Israel up for the next round.

Hamas will only stop fighting when it is defeated. And Israel did not defeat Hamas.

Not only did Israel not defeat Hamas, according to Haaretz, senior IDF commanders are now lobbying the government to enable Hamas to credibly claim victory.

According to Amos Harel, senior IDF commanders want Israel to bow to Hamas’s demands for open borders with Israel and for the steady transfer of funds to Hamas’s treasury.

Harel quoted a senior IDF source who said that if Israel doesn’t give in to Hamas’s demands for open borders, Hamas will renew its attacks at the end of September.

In the senior commander’s words, “If we can assist [Hamas] by expanding fishing grounds and easing restrictions on border crossings of people and goods into and from Israel, this will help maintain the quiet.”

So to delay the next Hamas onslaught against us, the IDF is lobbying the government to surrender to Hamas.

This behavior demonstrates two basic truths about Hamas’s war against Israel.

First, it is impossible for Israel to deter Hamas, but Hamas has apparently deterred the IDF General Staff.

During Operation Protective Edge Hamas absorbed massive blows to its war machine. The IDF destroyed Hamas’s offensive tunnels that penetrated into Israel. It destroyed thousands of Hamas’s rockets, missiles and launchers. It killed hundreds of Hamas fighters, including some top commanders.

And yet, less than a week into the cease-fire, the IDF prefers to capitulate to Hamas’s demands, and so allow Hamas to recoup its losses, rather than face its depleted forces on the ground in four weeks.

In other words, despite the blows it suffered, it is Hamas that has deterred the IDF.

Harel’s report is just the most recent indication that the IDF senior command echelon is Hamas’s ace in the hole. Throughout the war, news reports revealed that under Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz, the General Staff refused to present the security cabinet with any viable plan to defeat Hamas. And now, having failed to defeat Hamas, they insist that it is Israel that should surrender.

Hamas went to war with Israel because its back was up against the wall. Due to Egypt’s decision a year ago to seal its borders with Gaza, Hamas lost the ability to expand its arsenal, fuel Gaza’s smuggling-based economy and pay its terrorists their salaries.

Its leadership figured that the best way to reopen its supply lines was by going to war against Israel. The risk-averse behavior of the General Staff both during the war and today tell Hamas’s leadership that they were right.

The General Staff’s behavior isn’t the only reason that Hamas thinks aggression is the way to go. The US and Europe have gone out of their way, both during the fighting and today, to show Hamas that they are right to attack Israel.

US President Barack Obama adopted Hamas’s demand for open borders as the official position of the US government almost at the outset of the conflict.

He sought to replace Hamas foe Egypt as mediator with Hamas’s principle state sponsors Qatar and Turkey.

Under Obama the Federal Aviation Administration instituted a discriminatory and unwarranted flight ban on Israel. The repercussions of that move continue to harm Israel’s economy.

Today, the US and the EU are working together at the UN Security Council to draft a resolution that would see the deployment of international military forces to Gaza. The defined role of the force would be to oversee Gaza’s demilitarization, seemingly in line with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s demand.

But the notion that UN forces would take any steps to disarm Hamas is absurd. The minute such forces arrive in Gaza they will become human shields preventing Israel from defending itself against Hamas aggression. If they are deployed to Gaza, then in the next round of Hamas’s war against the Jews, IDF troops will have to constrain their offensive operations still further to avoid killing Western forces.

In other words, the deployment of such a force in Gaza will make it all but impossible for Israel to fight Hamas in the future.

The current discussions at the Security Council tell Hamas it is winning.

By attacking Israel, the genocidal jihadist group won the support of the West. At the UN today the US and the EU are crafting a resolution that will allow it to attack Israel from behind Western human shields.

So between the IDF General Staff and the West, Hamas now knows that all they have to do to survive, thrive and expand their war on Israel, is shake the tree. Something will fall out that will reward their aggression.

If they pay any price at all, it will involve nothing more than the death of the civilians of Gaza. And Hamas leaders couldn’t care less. For them, the death of civilians is yet another means of attacking Israel.

Facing this dire state of affairs, our leadership must dedicate itself today to preparing for the next round of war.

To this end, Israel must begin acting in three areas, now.

First, Israel must use whatever means it has at its disposal to scuttle the US’s attempts to pass any resolution related to Gaza at the UN Security Council.

Second, the government must clean the stables in the IDF General Staff.

Gantz is due to complete his tour of duty in February. Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon need to use his departure as an opportunity to replace not only Gantz but several other senior generals. Their replacements must be commanders who understand that the role of the IDF is to win wars, not lose them.

To date, Netanyahu and Ya’alon have given no indication of their intentions. Senior ministers and the public should use both the General Staff’s support for surrender and its lack of strategic ambition and tactical imagination during the war as a means of pressuring Netanyahu and Ya’alon to conduct a major shakeup of the General Staff.

Finally, the time has come for Israel to expand its military industries.

During the war both the US and European governments placed obstructions in the path of IDF resupply.

Israel cannot remain dependent on undependable foreign military suppliers. Israel needs to develop its own production lines, starting immediately.

We have the technology. We have the economic wherewithal. And we have the external markets to cover the costs of development.

True, this is a long-term undertaking.

But it has to begin now.

Residents of the south are livid at the government for opting for a ceasefire rather than mounting a full invasion of Gaza and dismantling Hamas piece by piece, terrorist by terrorist. As they see it, Operation Protective Edge failed to bring them the security they deserve and require to lead normal lives.

There is much validity to their claims. Hamas’s declarations of victory would sound far more disingenuous if the IDF’s leadership wasn’t intent on proving them right.

Their celebrations would ring hollow and even pathetic if the Americans and Europeans weren’t laboring to set up a mechanism to prevent Israel from fighting in the future.

As it stands, the only way for our leaders to prove their credibility now is by rejecting Hamas’s demand for open borders, even if doing so will require us to go back into battle in a month. After we have seen what Hamas is capable of, the notion that we should allow them to resupply and so rebuild and expand their military capabilities is simply outrageous.

Every general even obliquely tied to this initiative should be given his walking papers.

So too, our leaders need to demonstrate that they understand the nature of the diplomatic battlefield whose contours are being designed in Washington as well as Europe. To meet this threat, we must devise a clear plan to scuttle the cease-fire initiative at the Security Council, and we must diminish our dependence on our unreliable defense partners by building our own production lines.

Absent these responses, it is difficult to see how we will weather the next rapidly approaching storm. Absent these responses it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the time has come for new elections.

Caroline Glick is the Director of the David Horowitz Freedom Center's Israel Security Project and the Senior Contributing Editor of The Jerusalem Post. For more information on Ms. Glick's work, visit


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David Cameron Stands up to Islamists -- a Lesson for Barack Obama

by Nile Gardiner

Watch Cameron speak

The contrast between Friday’s press conference in London by British Prime Minister David Cameron and Thursday’s White House remarks by President Obama could not have been starker.

Mr. Cameron delivered a robust assessment of the scale of the Islamist threat to Great Britain and to the free world.

He told journalists assembled at Downing Street that “what we are facing in Iraq now with ISIL (Islamic State) is a greater threat to our security than we have seen before.”
While David Cameron appeared self-assured and determined in his approach, Barack Obama came across as a deer in the headlights, unable to outline a coherent U.S. response to a rapidly growing crisis in the Middle East.
He made it clear that ISIS must not be allowed to establish an Islamist caliphate in Iraq. If they succeeded, “we would be facing a terrorist state on the shores of the Mediterranean and bordering a NATO member.”

In announcing his government’s decision to raise the UK terrorism threat level to “severe,” the PM announced a series of measures to combat the Islamist threat within Britain itself, including tough new measures against British-born, self-styled “jihadists,” hundreds of whom have traveled to Iraq and Syria in recent months to fight with ISIS.

Cameron addressed the Islamist menace head-on, declaring that “the root cause of this threat to our security is clear: it is a poisonous ideology of Islamic extremism that is condemned by all states.”
In contrast, President Obama’s remarks to the White House press corps Thursday were weak-kneed, meandering and confused, sending mixed messages both to America’s enemies and the American people.

Mr. Obama revealed that his administration currently has “no strategy” for dealing with the ISIS threat, words that no doubt reassured the group’s murderous leadership, currently waging a campaign of terror across vast swathes of Iraq and Syria.

While David Cameron appeared self-assured and determined in his approach, Barack Obama came across as a deer in the headlights, unable to outline a coherent U.S. response to a rapidly growing crisis in the Middle East.

As the British Prime Minister pointed out, ISIS, Al Qaeda, and Islamist militants across the world pose a grave threat to our security and interests. They must be combated at home and abroad. Both the United States and Great Britain must be prepared to lead the free world in the defeat of ISIS and its cohorts. The alternative to bold US and British leadership is an Iraq that descends into medieval-style barbarism, dominated by brutal terrorists, whose very goal is the destruction of the West.

Friday, Mr. Cameron issued an important warning to the world, one that should be heeded by a White House that badly needs a clear sense of direction and a real strategy for winning the global war against the Islamists.

Nile Gardiner is Director of the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedomat the Heritage Foundation and a former aide to Margaret Thatcher. Follow him on Twitter@NileGardiner.


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Which side is UNRWA on?

by Elliott Abrams

The war in Gaza has brought UNRWA, the U.N. agency dealing with Palestinian ‎‎"refugees," back into the news -- mostly because UNRWA schools were used to shoot ‎rockets at Israel.‎

The failings of UNRWA were examined here ("End UNRWA") in December 2011, although today they seem even worse. The UNRWA ‎employees union is under Hamas control, and it's clear that the staff is riddled with ‎Hamas "activists." The Israeli commentator and former MK Einat Wilf ‎wrote on Sunday that "now, with the fighting over, it is time for Israel to do what it should have done ‎decades ago -- remove the layer of protection and legitimacy it grants to UNRWA. ‎Israel should recognize UNRWA for what it is -- a hostile Palestinian organization ‎that perpetuates the dream of the return of Palestinian refugees to Israel -- and ‎treat it accordingly.‎"

So now there are two compelling reasons to end UNRWA. Its cooperation with ‎Hamas, and the way in which it has been permeated by Hamas, constitute one ‎reason. The second is that UNRWA is engaged in the perpetuation and expansion of ‎the "Palestinian refugee problem" rather than its solution. Here is the explanation I ‎gave in 2011:‎

"Since the end of the Second World War, millions of refugees have left refugee ‎camps, and refugee status, and moved to countries that accepted them -- quickly or ‎slowly -- as citizens. Post-World War II Europe was an archipelago of displaced ‎persons and refugee camps, housing 850,000 people in 1947 -- Czechs, Poles, ‎Lithuanians, Germans, Latvians, Greeks, and many more nationalities. By 1952, all ‎but one of the camps had closed. Hundred of thousands of Jewish refugees from ‎Europe went to Israel after 1948, and then hundreds of thousands more arrived ‎from Arab lands when they were forced to flee after 1956 and 1967. The children and ‎grandchildren of these refugees, born after their arrival, were never refugees ‎themselves; they were from birth citizens of the new land, as their parents had ‎become immediately upon their own arrival. In this process many nations and ‎agencies have played wonderful roles, not least the U.N. High Commissioner for ‎Refugees (UNHCR).‎

"The exception to this refugee story is the Palestinians. In most of the Arab lands to ‎which they fled or traveled after 1948 they were often treated badly, and refused ‎citizenship (with Jordan the major exception) or even the right to work legally. And ‎instead of coming under the protection of UNHCR, they had a special agency of their ‎own, UNRWA, the U.N. Relief and Works Agency. In the decades of its existence, it ‎has not solved or even diminished the Palesinian refugee problem; instead it has ‎presided over a massive increase in its size, for all the descendants of Palestinian ‎refugees are considered to be refugees as well. Once there were 750,000; now there ‎are five million people considered by UNRWA to be 'Palestinian refugees.' And ‎UNRWA is now the largest U.N. agency, with a staff of 30,000. UNHCR cares for the ‎rest of the world with about 7,500 personnel.‎"

Which side is UNRWA on? Its supporters would say "on the side of Palestinian ‎refugees," but instead the agency appears to be on two other sides: its own, always ‎expanding its own empire and responsibilities, and on the side of Hamas.‎

Any transition to UNHCR would need to be slow and careful, but it should begin. ‎One good way to start is to demand independent studies and planning for such a ‎step (independent because you obviously can't leave this work to UNRWA itself, nor ‎should all of it be conducted within the U.N. system). For example, a plan might start ‎in one country (such as Jordan or Lebanon) rather than in Gaza. Or it might start by ‎redefining "refugee" the normal way. The United States should begin, after a set ‎future date, to move funding from UNRWA to UNHCR. If UNRWA or the U.N. ‎refuse, so be it: let those who insist on retaining UNRWA, its pernicious definition of ‎‎"refugee," and its ties with Hamas pay the freight.‎

Such a transition will be extremely difficult and take years. That's clear -- but it's time ‎to begin. The Gaza war has illuminated once again the ways in which Hamas has ‎been acting as a parasite feeding on this U.N. agency -- to which the United States is ‎the largest donor. Time for a change.‎

From "Pressure Points" by Elliott Abrams.

Elliott Abrams is a senior fellow for Middle East Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. 


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Ari Yashar: Hamas Leader Haniyeh Favored for Unity President

by Ari Yashar

Poll finds Haniyeh upsets Abbas among Arab residents of Judea, Samaria and Gaza 62%-32%, gaining boost from terror war on Israel.
Ismail Haniyeh
Ismail Haniyeh
Flash 90
Support for the terrorist organization Hamas has skyrocketed in Judea, Samaria and Gaza according to a new poll, after Hamas "skyrocketed" Israel with a massive missile barrage and terror war in Operation Protective Edge.

A full 61% of Arab residents of Judea, Samaria and Gaza would pick Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh for unity government president if elections were held today, according to the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research poll reported Tuesday by Associated Press (AP).

By contrast, Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas was found to have dropped sharply to a mere 32% in support.

The survey also found a "grass is greener" effect, with support for each of the two higher in the area under the other's control; Haniyeh received 53% support in Gaza and 66% in Judea and Samaria, while Abbas got 43% in Gaza and 25% in Judea and Samaria.

The poll also suggested that a majority of Arab residents of the region support appropriating Hamas's active terrorism against Jews in Judea and Samaria as well, a trend that accompanies a recent rise in terror incidents there.

The polling agency said Haniyeh gained a majority of support for the first time in eight years; the survey included 1,270 respondents and had a 3% margin of error.

Just in May a similar poll found jailed arch-terrorist Marwan Barghouti of Abbas's Fatah faction was favored for president of the new unity government, outpacing both Abbas and Haniyeh.

In an open letter last month, Barghouti called for a Fatah revolution, urging the group to further unify with Hamas and reject negotiations with Israel in preference of "resistance."

The new poll also confirms another survey last Wednesday conducted by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion (PCPO), which found 89% of Gazans support indiscriminate rocket fire against Israel civilians.

On the other side of the Arab support for the terror war, an Israeli poll late last month after the ceasefire found a 59% majority of Israelis felt Israel did not win Operation Protective Edge, signalling the frustration over a perceived lack of decisive military action against Hamas.

The poll likewise found that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's approval rating has taken a nose-dive during the operation, plummeting from a high of 82% at the time of the IDF ground entry to an abysmal 32% after the ceasefire with Hamas.

Ari Yashar


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