Friday, August 12, 2011

Iran Will Be Stopped

by Charles Bybelezer

“Today Zionists are completely surrounded by the Mujahedin of Islam and we advise them [Zionists] to return to the countries of their origin soon to save their lives.…”

These are the words of the commander of Iran’s Basij forces, Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naqdi — he is effectively declaring war on the Jewish State.

So what do world powers and purported purveyors of peace and freedom have to say about this incitement to genocide against the Jewish people?

The US is “deeply concerned” by Israel’s decision this week to approve construction of 930 apartments in the city of Har Homa in east Jerusalem.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton is “profoundly disappointed by [the] approval of a project that has triggered fierce criticism from the Palestinians,” adding that the new settlements damage the prospects for peace.

The Russian foreign ministry reiterated the country’s “position condemning Israel’s building activities on the occupied Arab territories.”

It is a mystery why UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon failed to directly weigh in on the matter, given his historical propensity to denounce Israel’s attempt to provide shelter for its citizens. (Although, a spokesman for Ki-moon did confirm the Secretary General was “deeply disappointed.”)

Perhaps Ki-moon is too busy preparing his despotic servitude for next month’s vote on Palestinian statehood.

No rational thinker could be faulted for assuming that an Iranian nuke poses a greater threat to “peace” than the construction of a few hundred houses in the Jewish people’s capital city. Yet we live in a world that defies reason and logic.

As such, no mention was made by any foreign “leader” of the protests currently taking place throughout the Jewish State over a severe shortage of available housing, a situation largely stemming from the government’s ongoing refusal to approve new housing projects following the 10-month construction moratorium implemented in Jewish “settlements” last year.

Better not to draw attention, however, to this monumental concession by Israel to the same “international community” presently attacking the Jewish State; doing so might otherwise somewhat tip the prevailing pro-Palestinian narrative in Israel’s favor, or at the very least, “excuse” Israel’s “aggression.” Nor would anyone be expected to point out that the Israeli Interior Ministry’s Jerusalem District Planning and Building Committee first initiated the Har Homa project two years ago.

The silence is deafening.

And in our deafness, we fail to hear the warnings of our foes.

Iran is our enemy. Not only Israel’s enemy, but also the greater Western world’s. Yet Iran marches on, towards the bomb, virtually unabated.

But not for long…

Last month, former CIA officer Robert Baer, who spent 21 years in the Middle East, alleged that Israel will destroy Iran’s illegal nuclear facilities next month. Naer said “with near certainty that [Israeli Prime Minister] Netanyahu is planning an attack, and in as much as [he could] guess…it’s probably going to be in September.”

Adding to the speculation is the recent introduction of a bill into the US House of Representatives that would green-light a possible Israeli bombing campaign against Iran. (The bill is expected to be passed when Congress’ next session resumes in September.) House Resolution 1553 expresses “support for the State of Israel’s right to defend Israeli sovereignty, to protect the lives and safety of the Israeli people, and to use all means necessary to confront and eliminate nuclear threats posed by the Islamic Republic of Iran, including the use of military force[.]”

Furthermore, Israel National News this week ran a story, entitled “Israel Air Force (IAF) Generals ‘Loudly’ Demanding Strike On Iran,” which quotes the German paper Der Spiegel as saying that both the Israel Defense Force and IAF are seeking clearance to initiate a bombing campaign on Iran: “The calls for bombing Iran are getting louder and louder,” according to sources in Israeli intelligence.

Yet the most significant indicator that Israel is planning to intervene militarily in Iran is Prime Minister Netanyahu’s recent concession to U.S. president Barack’s demand that Israel withdraw to the “1967 borders” as a basis for future negotiations with the Palestinians. Although unjustifiable—the leader of the Jewish people does not agree to return half of the world’s Jews to “Auschwitz,” and then attempt to negotiate their salvation with sworn enemies—the only possible “rationalization” for Netanyahu’s decision is that in exchange for Israel’s “compromise,” Obama has agreed to “support” an Israeli strike on Iranian nuclear facilities.

That is, Obama wins on both fronts: he continues to extract dangerous unilateral concessions from Israel, and concurrently can take a back seat while the Jewish State is alone forced to save the world from the acquisition by tyrannical mullahs of nuclear arms, and the inevitable proliferation of weapons of mass destruction that will ensue.

A true U.S. leader, General Alexander Haig, who was a supreme commander of NATO and a US secretary of state, once described Israel as “the largest US aircraft carrier, which does not require even one US soldier, cannot be sunk, is the most cost-effective and battle-tested, located in a region which is critical to vital US interests. If there would not be an Israel, the US would have to deploy real aircraft carriers, along with tens of thousands of US soldiers, which would cost tens of billions of dollars annually, dragging the US unnecessarily into local, regional and global conflicts. All of which is spared by the Jewish State.”

Accordingly, the U.S. must begin to unconditionally support Israel in the existential fight against a radical Islamic Iranian regime bent on the West’s destruction.

Israel will be on the front lines fighting this war not only for itself, but also for the United States. When Israel wins, so too will the U.S. More precisely, when Israel wins, the U.S. will not have lifted a finger.

This benefit to the U.S. is immeasurable; all Israel asks in return is to be supported.

The time is now.

Otherwise, the Iranians will be knocking on our doorstep next.

Charles Bybelezer


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

Top Hamas Engineer Tells All

by Ilana Curiel

Nabbed engineer Abu Sisi provides Israel with invaluable information about Hamas' operations, newly released documents reveal; terror group's military academy operated in Gaza mosques, he says

Hamas engineer Dirar Abu Sisi, nabbed by Israeli security forces earlier this year, provided interrogators with priceless information on Hamas' modus operandi, the terror group's readiness for a clash with Israel and attempts to improve its rocket range.

According to interrogation excerpts, cleared for publication Thursday by the Beersheba District Court following Ynet's appeal, the Hamas engineer described the terror group as an orderly hierarchical organization that aims to learn from its mistakes and adapt to changing regional realities.

Hamas' Abu Sisi (Photo: Herzl Yosef)

The engineer told interrogators that following Operation Cast Lead Gaza, top Hamas terrorist Mohammed Deif and the group's military wing commander Ahmed Jabari found Hamas' operations to be lacking and decided to make Abu Sisi in charge of establishing the organization's new military academy.

"An analysis of the war with Israel was undertaken. It found that a large number of Hamas activists ran away from their positions. A failure occurred in decision-making coupled with an inability to use arms during the battle – because of fear," he said. "A program of study had to be created, in order to improve the situation."

Terror studies at mosques

The new academy was tasked with imparting combat methods and tactics to Hamas terrorists, Abu Sisi said. Hamas men were undertaking their studies at mosques, while passing their final exams in known Gaza universities or in mosques.

"The books and academic materials did not bear the Hamas name or logo," he said. Instructors include university lecturers, education ministry officials, merchants and others.

One of Abu Sisi's rocket diagrams (Photo: Ilana Curiel)

Abu Sisi is believed to be Hamas' rocket expert. He joined the terror group in 2002, despite working for the Palestinian Electric Company, which forbade its employees from joining any group.

"I assisted Hamas in developing their missile capabilities, by identifying and handing over mathematical equations that improve the metal pipe's ability to withstand pressure and heat," he said. "I was present when a missile was test-fired at the sea in Khan Younis."

The terror group was lacking materials that could improve their rocket range and later smuggled it in from Egypt through tunnels, he said.

Rocket info on the Internet

Abu Sisi's interrogation revealed that he acquired plenty of information on improving rocket range via the Internet, including the YouTube website.

"I know nothing about explosives. I only calculated the pressure and heat…I downloaded the formula from the Internet," he said, adding that he also downloaded software pertaining to the rocket's structure.

Hamas would send its activists for further instruction overseas, Abu Sisi said. Selected graduates of the academy reached military academies in foreign countries, he said, including Syria, Yemen, Sudan and Iran.

During his interrogation, Abu Sisi expressed his regret for joining Hamas.

"I greatly regret my affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas Movement, my work to develop the missile range, my part in establishing Hamas' military academy, and all the information I handed over to Hamas that can threaten the security of Israel and its citizens," he said.

"I know the missiles are lethal and take the lives of others, without distinguishing between Arabs and Jews," he said.

Abu Sisi was kidnapped in Kiev and brought to Israel in February. His indictment sheet comprises nine counts, including membership in a terror organization, murder, attempted murder and arms production.

Ilana Curiel


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

Multiculturalism = Racism

by Phyllis Chesler

The civilizational war that Jean Raspail once envisioned in his brilliant, dystopian novel The Camp of the Saints is now fully underway. What Raspail once only imagined has come to pass. People of color from many formerly colonized countries have created "no go" zones all across Europe; ambulances and the police enter there at their own risk.

The "youth," the opportunistic criminal elements, the proto-jihadists (all of whom survive on the European dole), are torching cars, looting stores, battling the police.

Even as I write, black Brits are killing Muslim Brits and rioting against the police. Muslim Brits are threatening to kill whatever and whoever.

Have Europeans traditionally been racists? Yes, of course they have. Remember the Holocaust against the Jews. They learned no lessons.

More recently, did European governments allow immigrants to stay because they were willing to do work Europeans refused to do? Yes they did.

Are Europe's "multicultural" policies—which allowed immigrants, up to the third generation, not to integrate, not to westernize—also really racist policies? Yes, of course they are.

All you anti-racists: Now hear this. Multicultural relativism and multicultural policies have failed not because they are too indulgent but rather because they are essentially racist policies which have one standard for ethnic Europeans and another standard for immigrants of color.

Are there immigrant, class, faith, and color issues that need to be resolved in Europe? Absolutely—but due to the nature of jihad-via-satellite and jihad-via-internet the violent rioters in England resemble the violent rioters in Gaza or on the West Bank, or the violent rioters all across the Arab world.

The ski masks and keffiyas most resemble Arabs participants engaged in an "intifada," or uprising. It does not matter if the European participant is an African-Caribbean-Brit or a south east Asian Brit. The model of nihilistic insurrection is Arab and "Palestinian" in style.

Non-violent demonstrations (and there have been many in Europe, certainly in England), about college tuition, housing, and employment, do not look like this—although, 'tis true, many European, allegedly pacifist political demonstrations have turned ugly in jihadist-like ways.

These issues are not confined to Europe nor are they confined to European immigrants. The underlying, perhaps intractable problems are simmering and boiling in a new kind of "non-melting pot" stew in which all standards have been lowered, both by Western government employers, unions, educational institutions, and the media.

The solution? In terms of Europe and the chosen Intifada template: The same world that allowed the Arab terrorists to practice their diabolical arts mainly on Israelis and Jews have now reaped the whirlwind.

May God have mercy on us all.

Phyllis Chesler


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Hizballah, Damascus Under Siege

by IPT News

Syrians have peacefully demonstrated for change in their country for nearly five months, only to be met with a murderous wave of terror from their own government. Government forces have killed more than 2,000 demonstrators, human rights activists say. Tens of thousands more Syrians have become refugees, fleeing from President Bashar Assad's rampaging security forces.

In deference to Turkey, which wants Assad to remain in power while instituting "reforms," the Obama administration has stopped short of calling for the dictator's ouster. On Wednesday, the Treasury Department announced additional sanctions against Syria, and the White House said Syria would be "better off" without Assad.

The Syrian military responded with more military assaults, killing 35 people.

Whether Assad continues to use brutal force to cling to power or is toppled, what happens in Syria could send neighboring Lebanon toward its most tumultuous period since its bloody Civil War ended in 1990. The loss of a reliable ally in Damascus - coming as Hizballah tries to fend off a United Nations tribunal implicating its members in the 2005 car-bombing assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri - could prompt the Shiite terrorist group and its Iranian patrons to provoke a new war between Lebanon and Israel, analysts say.

Hizballah has been trying to discredit the United Nations Special Tribunal for Lebanon. On July 29, the tribunal, located in The Hague, Netherlands, announced the names of four Hizballah operatives it indicted in connection with Hariri's assassination.

Sources close to the tribunal have said the working assumption for its investigation is that the order for the killing came from the Syrian leadership (possibly in coordination with Iran) and that a unit within Hizballah may have been given a contract to kill Hariri.

Taken together, the Syrian revolution and Hariri investigation are making life uncomfortable for some of the most powerful players in the jihadist terror world today: Hizballah and its state sponsors in Tehran and Damascus.

Tony Badran, who monitors developments in Syria and Lebanon for the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, believes Assad will be ousted. This development would be a "major blow" to Hizballah's ability to re-supply its forces with weapons, he said. Sending weapons through Syria is the "cheapest, most direct way" for Iran to send weapons to its terrorist proxy, and having a friendly regime in Damascus provides Hizballah with critical strategic depth.

"The balance of power in the region would change," Badran told the Investigative Project on Terrorism. With the loss of Syria - a strategic ally of the Islamic Republic for more than three decades - "Iran would no longer be seen as ascendant in the region."

Both Hizballah and Syria have worked to derail the Hariri investigation. In October, Damascus issued arrest warrants charging 33 people, many of them international and Lebanese officials, with misleading UN investigators about the case. In January, Hizballah and its allies toppled the Lebanese government headed by Prime Minister Sa'ad Hariri, Rafik's son, in a dispute over government cooperation with the tribunal.

Five months later, Lebanese Prime Minister Nijab Mikati (appointed head of a caretaker government following Hariri's ouster) announced formation of a government dominated by Hizballah and its allies. Until June, the pro-Hizballah bloc held 10 of 30 Lebanese Cabinet ministries. In the new Cabinet, it holds 18, ample opportunity to influence government actions in favor of the radical group, which receives an estimated $100 million to $200 million annually from Iran.

Hizballah and its Christian allies in Gen. Michel Aoun's Free Patriotic Movement control numerous key security-related ministries, including defense, telecommunications and interior.

The Tribunal's Challenge

Hizballah and company could "interrupt any real cooperation with the court," said Walid Phares, a Middle East scholar and advisor to members of Congress and the European Parliament. "There will be no arrests, no further information given to the tribunal."

Hizballah and its allies exercise "de facto control over Lebanon's national security apparatus," said Phares, professor of global strategies at the National Defense University. In effect, a "war room in Tehran" can decide which Lebanese military officer gets sent to Caracas and which security officer controls Beirut International Airport and who "will end up getting training in Washington and walk in the halls in the Pentagon."

For many Lebanese, the indictments confirm what they already believed: that Hizballah, along with Damascus and Tehran, is "behind the assassination of Hariri and many other Lebanese politicians," said Phares. Sa'ad Hariri has been outside Lebanon since April, reportedly fearing that Hizballah and Syria are planning to kill him.

The four accused of murdering his father include Mustafa Badreddine, a senior Hizballah commander and brother-in-law of the late Hizballah military operations chief, Imad Mugniyeh. Mugniyeh, who masterminded scores of attacks, including the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marine Barracks in Beirut that killed 241 American service members, is also believed to have directed Hizballah military operations during its 2006 war against Israel. Israel is widely suspected of carrying out Mugniyeh's February 2008 assassination in Damascus.

Badreddine reportedly was appointed Hizballah's military operations chief to replace Mugniyeh. He is a member of Hizballah's Shura Council, the organization's top governing body. Badreddine is said to have trained Mugniyeh in bomb building. In the early 1980s, the pair served in the "Oppressed on Earth," an Iranian-backed Shiite militia that evolved into Hizballah.

Badreddine (operating under the Christian alias of "Elias Saab") was one of the "Kuwait 17," a terrorist cell that organized a coordinated series of bomb attacks on targets including the U.S. embassy and French embassies, Kuwait's main petrochemical plant and airport, and a residential neighborhood. Six people died in the December 1983 bombings; hundreds more would have been killed if the bombs had not malfunctioned. Badreddine was convicted and sentenced to death by a Kuwaiti court for his role in the plot. During the 1980s, Mugniyeh orchestrated a series of hijackings and kidnappings in an effort to free his brother-in-law. Badreddine escaped from jail in the chaos that followed Iraq's August 1990 invasion of Kuwait and disappeared.

In a televised address last week, Hizballah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah praised Badreddine and the others charged with killing Hariri, calling them "brothers with an honorable past." They would not be extradited to the Netherlands for trial "even in 300 years," Nasrallah said, and he vowed to "cut off the hand" of anyone who tried to do so. Nasrallah denounced the tribunal as part of an "American-Israeli conspiracy" to reignite the Lebanese civil war, and claimed Israel was behind Hariri's assassination.

The threats don't appear to be having much of an effect. The international police agency Interpol is searching for the suspects. Tribunal officials have indicated that it may soon release information linking the suspects to other assassination attempts in Lebanon. Badran suspects the four are in Iran or are in hiding in Lebanon under Hizballah's protection, and says there are rumors that one individual involved in the plot may have been "liquidated" to silence him.

Difficult Choices Ahead

A critical question is whether Hizballah and/or Assad will try to divert attention from their domestic problems by going to war against Israel on issues such as the current Israel-Lebanon maritime dispute. For more than 40 years, the Assad family has used the Israeli "threat" to justify dictatorship. But today, as Bashar Assad seeks to crush pro-democracy demonstrations, the old formula isn't working very well.

On May 15, Assad tried to capitalize on hostility towards Israel by sending Palestinians to swarm the border with Israel to commemorate "Nakba" (catastrophe) Day, the date of Israel's founding. Three weeks later, he tried the same tactic again on Naksa Day - the 44th anniversary of the Six-Day War. Neither action has helped him silence the Syrians protesting against his regime.

Recent reports have indicated Hizballah has been moving equipment and weaponry from Syria into Lebanon. This could be read as preparation for war with Israel - a desperate attempt to divert attention from Assad's slaughter of his own citizens by going to war against the Zionist enemy.

But Badran said the movement of weapons may be something different: an indication that Hizballah is worried that Assad will fall, and that theorganization may lose access to storage facilities in Syria.

After plunging Lebanon into war with Israel in 2006, Hizballah substantially strengthened its military arsenal. It promises that all of Israel will be targeted in a future conflict.

Nasrallah likely understands that if he acts on his threats and provokes Israel into war as he did in 2006, he will trigger massive retaliation. But in the end, neither Hizballah nor Syria will make the decision on provoking Israel into another war. That will be decided by Iran, Badran said.

Yet given Assad's weakness, it may be too late to save him by starting a war. Doing so could result in "a badly damaged Hizballah without making any difference in Assad's fortunes," he added.

Badran is sharply critical of the Obama administration's handling of events in Syria. As Syrians have risked their lives for freedom, he wrote last month, Washington "is now helping to confer legitimacy on [Assad's] farcical 'reform 'process," consisting of a meeting with handpicked group with no influence over the Syrians protesting across the country. U.S. Ambassador Robert Ford's support for the conference "did little other than to provide US cover for this crude propaganda."

Badran added that, in June, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton emphasized that Syria's neighbors are working "behind the scenes" in an effort to get Damascus to stop "engaging in horrific, revolting attacks on its own people." In practical terms, this strategy has meant that instead of recognizing the inevitable - that Assad must go - Washington has ceded the lead diplomatic role to Turkey, which is pushing Assad to institute "reforms" instead of declaring him an illegitimate leader.

U.S. policy towards Syria over the past five months has been characterized by "dithering and incoherence," Badran told the IPT. "Nobody knew where the president was on this. There's been a lot of hand-wringing."

IPT News (The Investigative Project on Terrorism)


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

It's 'Crazy' to Ignore Shariah

by Frank Gaffney, Jr.

As the nation mourns the loss in combat of thirty of its military heroes - including 22 members of the Navy's elite SEAL Team 6 - in Afghanistan over the weekend, the question inevitably occurs: What are we fighting for that justifies this latest among so much sacrifice in that distant, backwards and inhospitable land?

Sen. John McCain suggested on NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday that the answer, in part, is to prevent the Taliban from taking over the country again - at horrific cost to the people and, in particular, the women of Afghanistan. That would be a more credible goal if we were not simultaneously negotiating what amounts to the surrender of the country to Taliban representatives.

A more compelling justification would be if we were fighting to prevent the success of those who, like the Taliban, adhere to the politico-military-legal doctrinethey call shariah. According to that doctrine, the entire world - not just Afghanistan - must submit to divine dictates as recounted by Mohammed and refined, interpreted and applied for over 1400 years by Muslim rulers (caliphs), scholars, institutions and jihadists. It is the particular mission of the Muslim Brotherhood and its offshoots, notably al Qaeda, to accomplish this objective and establish a new, global caliphate to rule in accordance with shariah.

Unfortunately, many in this country remain clueless about this threat. A particularly egregious example of official willful blindness was evident in an outburst last week by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. In response to criticism that he had appointed to his state's superior court a Muslim lawyer known for his ties to shariah-adherent terrorists and their sympathizers, Christie declaimed: "[This] shariah-law business is crap...and I'm tired of dealing with the crazies!"

As Andrew McCarthy a former federal prosecutor, National Review essayist and constituent of the Governor observed over the weekend:

As Governor Christie ought to understand, shariah concerns can't be dismissed as ‘crap.' They help us sort out the pro-American Muslims we want to empower from the Islamists. When we dismiss these concerns, we end up building bridges to all the wrong people, as government has done, to its repeated embarrassment, for two decades. That is how we end up ‘partnering' with the likes of Abdurrahman Alamoudi and Sami al-Arian (both ultimately convicted, with their ties to terrorism duly exposed); Salam al-Marayati, the Muslim Public Affairs Committee leader who argued that Israel should be at the top of the 9/11 suspect list; and such Islamist organizations as the Council on American Islamic relations (CAIR) and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), which, though not indicted, were shown by the Justice Department to be co-conspirators in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism-financing case.

Unfortunately, as Mr. McCarthy observes, Gov. Christie is not the only one who is witless about the threat from shariah and the dangers associated with "building bridges" to its adherents, whether in the New Jersey Islamic community, among the Afghan Taliban or via Muslim Brotherhood fronts like CAIR and ISNA. Such "‘bridge building' - code for ‘Muslim outreach,' the law-enforcement strategy that started in the Clinton years, picked up steam in the Bush years and has become the backbone of Obama counterterrorism."

The extent to which such "outreach" has now morphed into unvarnished embrace of Muslim Brotherhood-tied entities is evident in the Obama administration's "strategy" for "Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in the United States" unveiled last week. Notable for its moral equivalence - it studiously avoids specificity about the threat in favor of euphemisms such as "radicalization," "terrorism" and "violent extremism" that suggest threats from "Christian" and "right-wing" are equivalent to those from Islamists - the strategy calls for partnering with those who purport to eschew the "al Qaeda ideology."

In so doing, Team Obama is missing the same thing Chris Christie fails to comprehend: Far from being "crazy" or the ideology of only so-called "extremists" like al Qaeda and its franchises and copycats, shariah also drives the Muslim Brotherhood. That is true notwithstanding the fact that the Brotherhood uses non-violent - or more accurately pre-violent - means to advance shariah's imposition. According to its "phased plan," that will continue to be the case right up until the moment when the Brothers "seiz[e] power to establish their Islamic nation."

Consequently, what's crazy, to use Gov. Christie's term, are it is efforts to detect and defeat violent extremism by enlisting the very organizations that the federal government has established in the 2008 Holy Land Foundation trial in Dallas are to be Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated entities. So is the Obama administration's bid to "bridge" differences with the Brothers' friends in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to stop free expression in the West-- if it has whenever there are "consequences," with or without actual connections, like, conveniently, that "right-wing" extremist's murderous rampage in Norway. Ditto, the White House's reported decision to entrust to a deeply MB-penetrated Department of Homeland Security exclusive responsibility for determining who and what can be used to train local law enforcement and others charged with keeping us safe.

Here's the bottom line: America is under assault by those who see its Constitution and liberties as the ultimate impediment to the triumph of shariah worldwide. We will needlessly lose many more of our finest in Afghanistan, elsewhere around the world and ultimately here if we fail to recognize that it is crazy to believe and behave on any other basis.

Frank Gaffney, Jr.


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J Street’s Soft Sell For The Uninformed

by Isi Leibler

Jeremy Ben-Ami, founder and president of J Street, has written a highly misleading book titled "A New Voice for Israel" portraying himself as a passionate supporter of Israel and a dedicated Zionist and extolling the virtues of his purportedly "pro Israel pro-peace" organization.

The opening section is sourced from the autobiography of his father Yitzhak Ben-Ami, whose antecedents settled in Palestine.

Yitzchak became a devoted follower of Zev Jabotinsky and was sent to the United States on behalf of the underground Irgun Zvai Leumi, initially to recruit volunteers for a Jewish army and then to support the campaign by the Peter Bergson [Hillel Kook] group to alert Americans to the plight of the European Jewry.

Together with Ben Hecht, Edward G Robinson and others, he confronted Rabbi Stephen Wise and the Jewish establishment who, under the spell of President Franklin Roosevelt, remained silent in face of the Administration's unwillingness to provide haven for European Jews being murdered by the Nazis.

Jeremy Ben-Ami insinuates that although his father may not have endorsed his current outlook, he follows in his footsteps by "courageously" standing up against the Jewish establishment, and Ben-Ami Senior "would be pretty glad I care enough to be involved". In reality, had Yitzchak lived, he would almost certainly have been devastated and outraged to witness his son's attitude towards Israel.

However, readers will discover that whilst the views Ben-Ami conveys in his book are far left and offensively anti-establishment they are still ‘moderate' compared to the fierce anti-Israeli hostility implemented by J Street.

He writes that "our generation must fulfill the dream of Zionism and achieve peace with its neighbors" and that if a new war were to break out threatening Israel's existence, "world Jewry would without a doubt appropriately rally to the flag".

He supports a two state solution, (which subject to national security provisions most Israelis would today endorse), favors the division of Jerusalem and opposes settlements.

He claims (falsely) that the Jewish establishment muzzles any criticism of Israel. He urges that J Street supporters Walt & Mearsheimer, authors of the book defaming the Jewish lobby, should not be treated in a McCarthyist manner. He considers as counterproductive, personal attacks on Richard Goldstone, who he describes as a "noble Jew". He says that Israelis should respect the Palestinian narrative.

One may strongly disagree with such viewpoints but one would hesitate before deeming even such shrill criticism as "anti-Israeli".

Yet Ben-Ami's book is a disingenuous attempt to spin a sanitized respectable portrait of an organization whose principal objective is to undermine the policies of the democratically elected government of Israel. It does so at a time when the Jewish state is under global attack, facing existential threats and undergoing an international campaign of demonization and delegitimization.

The dividing lines between J Street and mainstream Jewish groups are not its views but its efforts to convince the American people to encourage President Obama to pressurize the Israeli government. It is surely unconscionable for trendy American Jews to canvass their government to force Israel to act contrary to its will in relation to national security issues with potential life and death repercussions on its citizens. J Street justifies this on the grounds that Israelis need "tough love", comparing us to children on drugs who must be pressured to do what is good for them or impounding car keys from a drunken friend.

The blatant dishonesty of Ben-Ami's stated willingness to back Israel during war was demonstrated by J Street's approach to the Gaza conflict - which united all sections of the Israeli political spectrum, including the far left wing Meretz. J Street then applied moral equivalence to Israel and Hamas claiming "that there are many who recognize elements of truth on both sides of this gaping divide" and reproached Israel for launching "a disproportionate response". It stated that "we recognize that neither Israelis nor Palestinians have a monopoly of right and wrong" and accused Israelis of "lacking sanity and moderation" in their attitude towards Hamas.

J Street also supports and finances the candidatures of anti-Israeli congressmen and constantly campaigns against pro-Israel resolutions in Congress. Immediately following the Fogel family massacre, J Street even opposed a bi-partisan congressional resolution condemning the PA for anti-Semitic incitement, claiming that "the current PA leadership has taken great political risks and shown real willingness to end the conflict". It facilitated meetings in Capitol Hill for Richard Goldstone to promote his discredited report. Furthermore, in 2009, at the height of the Iranian sanctions debate, Ben-Ami published an article opposing UN sanctions against Iran, although he has since changed his position.

It lobbied against a US veto of a one-sided anti-Israeli resolution at the UN Security Council, prompting Democratic Congressman Gary Ackerman to sever relationships with them quipping that "J Street is so open-minded about what constitutes support for Israel that its brains have fallen out".

J Street repeatedly slanders AIPAC and its efforts to generate bi-partisan support for the policies of democratically elected governments of Israel, labeling it as an extreme right wing body. It warns American Jews that by their "one-sided support of Israel" they could face charges of dual loyalties. One of its founding partners and a member of its advisory board, Daniel Levy, even told a gathering in Abu Dhabi that "the creation of Israel" was "an act that was wrong".

J Street now ritually condemns boycott, divestment & sanctions, yet it still welcomed organizations promoting BDS, like Jewish Voice for Peace, as participants in their conference. It also co-sponsored a congressional mission to Israel with Churches for the Middle East, a pro BDS coalition. It honored Israeli soldiers who refused to obey orders. It supported the Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity group which calls for the liquidation of the Jewish Agency and Jewish National Fund.

Ben-Ami tries to make light of the scandal which exposed him as a serial liar, obliging him to apologize for having repeatedly denied that J Street was clandestinely being funded by George Soros, a pathologically anti-Israel Jew. There is also odium about other anonymous off shore donors and evidence that much of J Street's funding emanates from sources hostile to Israel including Arabs.

The list of J Street anti-Israel initiatives is endless. Most are either ignored or played down in Ben-Ami's misleading book which could well serve as a case study of Orwellian double-talk by the dishonest manner in which it portrays itself as "pro-Israel". It is reminiscent of the "pro peace" communist front organizations which sought to dupe bleeding heart liberals into believing they were promoting peace, whilst in reality they were advancing the interests of the "Evil Empire"

Ben-Ami claims that it requires courage for detractors of Israel to speak up. Yet in reality the liberal media, especially the New York Times, adulates him and other Jewish critics of Israel as heroes, providing them with exposure that they would otherwise never obtain.

Despite this, J Street has failed to expand beyond the very narrow band of the anti-Israeli far left and naive fellow travellers. It would be an act of folly to now accept them as part of the Jewish mainstream.

Isi Leibler


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

Terrorism Returns to Egypt, Will Sanity about Islamism Arrive in the West?

by Barry Rubin

As I’ve predicted since February, a major consequence of the Egyptian revolution and the rise of radical Islamism there will be a return to the terrorism of the 1990s which destroyed the tourism industry; targeted Christians; murdered moderates and secularists; and killed government officials and bystanders.

Now a group has attacked two police stations in el-Arish. And of course CNN misses the point. Those responsible, it reports, are, “Takfir-wal Higra, a group sympathetic to al Qaeda’s goal of establishing an Islamic Caliphate.” Actually, the group originated in Egypt long before Usama bin-Ladin began his political activity. And in Egypt, terrorist Islamists come out of the Muslim Brotherhood, demanding faster and more extreme tactics. We will be seeing a lot of such people in the coming months and years.

Once again, this recalls to me the 1981 book of Muhammad Abd al-Salaam Faraj, The Forgotten Commandment. I read it soon after it appeared. At the time, the book seemed like the ravings of a marginal figure, one for whom even the Takfir-wal Higra group of the time was too moderate. Faraj posited that jihad had been brushed aside for centuries by those who wrongly interpreted Islam and must be restored, immediately, to be top priority.

In retrospect, Faraj did ideologically for Sunni Muslims what Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini did for Shias: the creation of a new and powerful revolutionary Islamist movement. In the 30 years since this book was written, the once-obscure ideas of Faraj have swept the minds of millions of people and caused many thousands of deaths. They are now in sight of hegemony in the Sunni Muslim world.

Here’s another interesting point. Faraj proves wrong both of the two major sides of the Western debate on Islam. If Islam is so innately a religion of peace then why did Faraj’s argument–based on the holiest texts–become so successful? Obviously, one is not dealing with a few extremists but with radicals who can mobilize mass support and persuade people to accept their view of Islam as the correct one. And they are winning.

But if Islam is so innately warlike and extreme, why did Faraj have to write the book and there must be a battle to make Muslims behave as the radical Islamists want? Why are so many of those killed or intimidated by the Islamists those who also consider themselves pious Muslims, whether reformist or, as is far more common, conservative-traditionlist?

The policy lesson, then, is neither to demonize nor apologize for Islam but to ally with the Islamists’ enemies among Muslims and to lose all naivete about the Islamists’ strength, intentions, and ability to draw on deeply held Islamic texts and beliefs.

So Islam can and is interpreted in different ways. Those who show that Muslims don’t always adhere to the texts and still consider themselves to be good Muslims are right. Yet those that show the revolutionary Islamists have strong arguments based on the holy texts and–most important of all–are winning over many others–are also correct.

Up until now the mainstream Western position has been that the Muslim Brotherhood will protect people from the “radicals,” now called Salafists. Yet even if the Brotherhood isn’t advocating violence now it is only because they are making such good progress toward seizing power and transforming Egypt in other ways. Like Hamas and Hizballah, they have no problem in running election campaigns and murdering opponents simultaneously.

The first attacks have been against the gas pipeline to Israel, which the government has been “helpless” to stop and against Christians, where the government has often acted vigorously…by arresting the Christian victims.

So far, though, most of the violence has been in the form of criminal anarchy. (I’m tempted to write that Cairo is becoming as bad as Paris and London.)

Now even CNN figures out that terrorist groups are forming. Soon they will swing into action.

Barry Rubin


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Thursday, August 11, 2011

NY Times Peddles Revisionist View of Arab Spring as Full Embrace of Palestinian Cause

by Leo Rennert

If one believes the New York Times, the Arab Spring revolt against autocratic rulers is turning into all-out support of the Palestinian cause. And, as a result, there's new, justifiable hope for Palestinians to achieve statehood.

Or, as Mideast correspondents Anthony Shadid and David Kirkpatrick put it in an Aug. 10 dispatch:

"In all the tumult of the Arab revolts, one of the most striking manifestations of change is rejuvenated embrace of the Palestinian cause." ("In Tumult, New Hope For Palestinian Cause" page A8).

Strange, but most observers of the Arab Spring have conveyed a totally opposite impression -- that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been almost totally absent from the reform cries of protesters in Egypt, Syria, Yemen and other Arab nations.

But that doesn't deter Shadid and Kirkpatrick from their dubious thesis. So, they point to a shack in Lebanon selling posters commemorating a May 15 protest march by Palestinians to the Israeli border. In a tent in Cairo's Tahrir Square, they manage to find a sign that reads "Jerusalem will soon be back."

On such thin gruel, they build a far-left history of a region that once "capitulated to the dictates of the United States and Israel" but now is genuinely advancing the Palestinian agenda.

What Shadid and Kirkpatrick conveniently overlook is that the Palestinians themselves have been mostly AWOL from the Arab Spring. There has been no spurt in protests or violence by Palestinians in the West Bank. On the first Friday of Ramadan, some 100,000 Muslims prayed peacefully on Temple Mount in Jerusalem under the benign protection of Israeli security teams.

New Arab rulers in the region may engage in sharper rhetoric against Israel, but there's scant evidence of the kinds of radical changes toward the Jewish state that Shadid and Kilpatrick assume in their off-the-wall piece. Egypt's new rulers emphasize that they have no intention to change or abrogate their peace treaty with Israel.

But still Shadid and Kirkpatrick plow on, insisting that the "Israeli occupation is considered the biggest obstacle to peace and stability in the region." And for good measure, they write about "Palestine," as if there were already a clearly defined sovereign country. Lots of wishful thinking by reporters who avert their eyes from the real cause of Palestinian victimhood -- the refusal of Palestinian leaders -- Arafat in 1980-81 and Abbas more recently -- to accept a two-state solution based on mutual compromise.

As long as Palestinians remain grounded in a self-portrait of victimhood, predictably abetted by the New York Times, resolution of the Palestinian question will remain an elusive objective. The New York Times does no favor to the Palestinian cause by embracing its self-defeating propaganda.

Leo Rennert


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Pakistani ISI Chief's Secret Visit to China

by Anna Mahjar-Barducci

On August 1st, Indian media reported that Pakistan's inter-Services Intelligence, or ISI, chief, Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, went on a secret visit to China as part of Islamabad's efforts to reduce its dependence on the United States. In the Indian daily, The Express Tribune, quoted sources as saying that Pasha is expected to open a "broad-based strategic dialogue" with Beijing.

The secret visit came only two weeks after the Pakistani chief of general staff of the army, Gen. Waheed Arshad, visited Beijing.. Arshad was reported to have discussed "the option of a strategic dialogue" between Pakistan and China, based on the pattern of the Pakistan-US engagement.

Pasha travelled to China soon after the sudden departure of America's CIA station chief in Islamabad, an exit that marked another sign of the troublesome relationship between the U.S. and Pakistan which became even more strained after the May 2 operation that that killed Osama bin Laden.

However, the reasons for Gen. Pasha's visit to China might lie in Beijing's recent claim that Uighur Muslim militants, who were involved in two bombings on July 30 and July 31 in the Kashgar city of China's Xinjiang province, had been trained to use explosives in the Pakistani tribal areas. Pakistan might therefore be in a rush to reestablish trust with its "all-weather" ally.

Sino-Indian war

Pakistan is not hiding its preference for China over the U.S. as an ally. It was China that gave Pakistan the know-how to become a nuclear power; and both countries have an interest in downsizing India's economic and political hegemony in the region. The fatal attraction that seems to link the two countries is merely enhanced by their common rivalry with India.

In 1962, China and India clashed on the issue of a disputed Himalayan territory on the border between the two countries. China started the attack, managing to humiliate India militarily. The clash led to a de facto Chinese occupation of the Aksai Chin, a region claimed by India as a part of its northern state of Jammu and Kashmir. Encouraged by the Chinese success, Pakistan initiated a war in 1965 to take back Kashmir. However, even though China declared its support of Pakistan, Islamabad was not as powerful as Beijing, and India managed not only to stop the insurgency but also to be perceived as the Asian emerging power.

Along the years, Sino-Indian relations have been characterized by mistrust, but have not return to an armed conflict. Instead, Pakistan did no hesitate to engage in four wars with its neighbor; but each time, India managed to stop Pakistani hegemonic ambitions. The last time Pakistan attacked India was in 1999, in the so called Kargil War that ended, once again, in Islamabad's defeat. As Pakistani analyst Manzur Ejaz recently wrote in the Pakistani newspaper Daily Times: "…unlike China, Pakistan does not base its policies on economic and other pragmatic bases; it reverts to so-called ideological sentimentalism. We [Pakistanis] have everything contrary to the Chinese approach and the results are self-evident: China has climbed to the top and Pakistan has skipped to the bottom."

This "ideological sentimentalism" is composed mainly of a sense of religious superiority coupled with a nationalistic sentiment -- feelings that became evident in the aftermath of the killing of Osama bin Laden. The reaction of Pakistani authorities was an outburst of rage for the violation of national sovereignty and for the fact that Pakistan's double-cross had been exposed.

Pakistan-China friendship receives a setback

Many analysts consider Pakistan to be, by now, a "client state" of China; they predict that the U.S. is not going to retain its role as a long term ally. In Pakistan, even religious parties view favorably a realignment with China. "China's friendship to Pakistan is an important guarantee for our stability," writes Liaquat Baloch, a senior leader of Jamaat-e-Islami, a mainstream religious political party; "China relates to other countries without any agenda, where the US has an agenda which is all about interfering in the lives of others."

However, as the Hindustan Times puts it: "…in the face of a spreading Uighur rebellion China's love-fest with its 'all-weather ally', Pakistan, may have started to turn a bit sour, with Xinjiang authorities charging that a prominent Uighur separatist they captured had received terrorist training in Pakistan." Paradoxically, China is now accusing Pakistan of not doing enough to counter terrorism.After straining its relations with U.S. for the same reason -- not fighting extremists groups --Pakistan is now afraid of losing China's support.

The Pakistani paper, The News, reports that the Pakistani military authorities are under mounting pressure from Beijing to allow the establishment of military bases in the tribal areas of Pakistan to counter the Chinese rebels operating from its soil: "In fact, the growing strength of the Pakistan-based Chinese separatist movement is a matter of serious concern for Beijing which had even asked Islamabad to allow its military presence [in the tribal areas], just like the Americans, so that Beijing could effectively counter the Chinese separatists there," The News writes. Pakistani ISI chief's visit to China can be seen as an attempt to restore this crack in the diplomatic relationship. After the visit, Chinese media did indeed start to downplay Pakistan's role in training the Uighur militant groups. Beijing's leadership is strictly pragmatic; China does not want to clash with Pakistan, which can give China support in developing its hegemonic ambitions in Afghanistan and against India. China, however, is now becoming aware of the Islamabad's volatility.

Anna Mahjar-Barducci


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A Palestinian State: What the Evidence Suggests

by Herbert I. London

With a vote on statehood about to come before the United Nations' General Assembly in September, it is incumbent on those who will consider this proposal to examine several facts. A recent report by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik makes the following points:

  • The Palestinian Authority [PA] pays monthly salaries to 5,500 prisoners in Israeli prisons, many of them known terrorists;
  • The P.A. honors terrorists who have killed civilians, presenting them as heroes and role models;
  • The P.A. glorifies terror attacks as heroic, including suicide bombings;
  • Funding for these salaries and activities comes from the general budget to which the U.S. contributes;
  • U.S. law prohibits funding of any person who engages or engaged in terrorist activity.

At the moment Hamas and Fatah terrorist prisoners are receiving monthly checks, a total of almost 18 million shekels ($5 million) monthly. It pays to be a terrorist: these monthly stipends are more than the average salary for a P.A. civil servant or military officer.

While this practice is going on, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated that an additional grant to the P.A. will be made, bringing the U.S. direct budget assistance to a total of $225 million annually. Of course, neither the American public, nor most members of Congress are aware that a substantial portion of this foreign aid goes to support terrorists. Possibly Secretary Clinton may not know that a P.A. sponsored summer camp for children is divided into three groups named after the terrorists Dalal Mughrabi, Salah Khalaf and Abu Ali Mustafa, each of whom planned and executed murders against civilians. Possibly Secretary of State may not know that Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, a man whom she described as a "moderate," routinely honors terrorist bombers on his radio broadcasts.

That these practices go on with U.S. subventions is an outrage. The P.A. is in direct violation of our laws; and all salaries to imprisoned terrorists and money that honors terrorists should cease immediately. But there is also another lesson in these revelations. Despite all of the rhetorical pabulum from the Obama administration, terrorism is the prescribed way of doing business in the P.A. The creation of a Palestinian state is therefore the creation of a terrorist state with one goal:, according to both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas Charters: The destruction of Israel.

Despite all of the gamesmanship at the U.N., despite President Obama's assurance about adjoining states living in peace, the P.A. and its Hamas partner cannot and will not repudiate their goal of destruction, and they cannot and will not recognize the legitimacy of the Jewish state, lest they be called ":traitors" by their Arab neighbors. General Assembly members may be convinced that a newly created Arab state can live in peace with its Israeli neighbor; after all, petrodollars are very alluring, But the evidence that a narrative of violence is encouraged, even funded -- and by the USA and Europe - militates against a peaceful scenario.

The time has come -- and is overdue -- for the United States to tell the truth about the West Bank and Gaza. We may not persuade Security Council members that this entire P.A. statehood enterprise will not result in peace for anyone; but at least we can state the American position clearly and unequivocally. As long as terrorism prevails, as long as it is officially cultivated by government authorities, there will not be, there cannot be, a Palestinian nation that brings peace to the region. If a day comes when Israel lays down its arms, destruction will follow; but if there is a day when the Palestinians repudiate terrorism, peace will follow. The alternatives are clear. The question, of course, is whether anyone cares.

Herbert I. London


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Al Shabab’s American Connection

by Frank Crimi

A recent suicide bombing by a Somali-American from Minnesota comes on the heels of 18 Somalis charged with recruiting young Somali-American men for al-Shabab, Somalia’s brutal Islamist terror group. Both incidents underscore the growing threat posed by al-Shabab’s pipeline into America’s Somali community.

According to al-Shabab leaders, 25-year-old Somali-American, Abdullahi Ahmed, detonated himself last week in the Somali capital of Mogadishu, killing two African Union peacekeeping troops in the process.

Ahmed was one of 20 Somali-Americans from Minnesota who disappeared in 2007. At the time, all of the men were suspected of having gone to Somalia to join al-Shabab in its fight against Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG).

Now, that question has been confirmed with the recent indictment of the 18 Somali men, 14 from Minnesota, charged with forming a plan to recruit young Somali men from the Minneapolis area to fight alongside al-Shabab.

According to one of the defendants, Omer Adbi-Mohamed, the Minnesota portion of the terror plot began around September 2007, when the conspirators formulated a recruitment plan that included such logistical issues as travel, use of safe houses, and weapons training. The men then solicited funds for the operation from the Minneapolis Somali community by telling people they were raising money to help relief efforts in Somalia.

Then in early 2008, Minnesota’s jihadist recruits were sent to an al-Shabab training camp in Somalia and provided further weapons training and indoctrination. Their first assignment upon graduation from the terror camp was to ambush a group of African Union peacekeeping soldiers. That assault was videotaped and made into a propaganda video that included one of the Minneapolis men making a speech in which he encouraged more Somalis to join their jihad.

Apparently, some of the American recruits proved more suitable as human explosives. While Abdullahi Ahmed was the latest human bomb, two other Minnesota Somalis suffered the same fates. They included Shirwa Ahmed, the first US citizen to undertake a suicide bombing, who killed himself and 22 others in a suicide attack in October 2008.

Minnesota’s Somali community of 30,000 — the largest in the United States — has become the epicenter of an ongoing federal investigation into its ties to al-Shabab. Prior to the indictment of the 18 Somali men was the arrest in April 2011 of two Somali women from Minnesota, Amina Farah Ali and Hawo Mohamed Hassan.

Both women have been charged with raising funds for al-Shabab through fraudulent appeals to the Somali community in which they requested funds they said were intended for humanitarian purposes, but which were instead transmitted to al-Shabab in Somalia.

However, it should come as little surprise that al-Shabab has an ardent following among some Somali-Americans. A new report by the Bipartisan Policy Center has found Somali-Americans to represent 31 percent of the 57 Americans charged or convicted of Islamic terrorism crimes in the United States and abroad since January 2009.

Included in this group are 14 Somali-Americans from Alabama, California and Illinois, arrested for providing material support to al-Shabab in August 2010; four Somali-Americans from San Diego, arrested on similar charges in November 2010; and Somali college student Mohamed Osman Mohamud, arrested for a failed attempt to blow up a van full of dummy explosives in Oregon in November 2010.

In fact, the seriousness of the al-Shabab threat is such that Attorney General Eric Holder was forced to acknowledge in 2010 that the routing of fighters and money to al-Shabab constituted a “deadly pipeline.”

Since then, the al-Shabab threat has been the subject of congressional hearings focusing on the growing radicalization of Muslims in America, including the indoctrination and recruitment of would-be-terrorists.

Led by Republican Congressman Peter King of New York, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, the hearings began as a response to the marked increase in plots and conspiracies by American Muslim extremists, as well as the number of Americans attempting to travel abroad to train and fight with terrorist groups.

To address that issue in general and al-Shabab in particular, Representative King recently stated, “We must face the reality that al-Shabab is a growing threat to our homeland,” adding that no other terrorist organization has come as close as al-Shabab “to drawing so many Muslim Americans and Westerners to jihad.” To confirm that point, King charged that his committee has found over 40 American Somalis having gone to join al-Shabab.

Even FBI director Robert Mueller has voiced serious concerns that Somali-American jihadists may return to the United States and carry out a scheme similar to the foiled plot in Australia in August 2009 in which Somali-Australians attempted to carry out a suicide attack on an Australian army base.

In fact, the Australian episode underscores the global recruitment efforts of al-Shabab. In testimony before King’s committee, Ahmed Hussen, head of the Canadian Somali Congress, stated that al-Shabab in recent years has recruited dozens of young Somali men and women from Ottawa and Toronto.

When asked why al-Shabab would need to recruit Somalis abroad, given they have no shortage of willing recruits in Somalia, Hassan said, “It’s because they have aspirations beyond East Africa.”

While al-Shabab’s original and immediate focus has been to rid Somalia of what it calls an infidel presence and create a Sharia-based Islamic state, its long-term ambition is to create a global caliphate. The ambition to pursue global jihad became official when the group pledged its allegiance to al-Qaeda in 2010.

To that end, al-Shabab has internationalized the scope of its jihadist mission by utilizing the Internet to reach out to Muslims worldwide, heavily increasing the enlistment of foreign fighters, and expanding its interactions with other Islamist terror groups, including Nigeria’s Boko Haram, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and al-Qaeda in Yemen (AQAP). One of the fruits of that outreach occured in July 2010, when the group launched two suicide bombings in Uganda that killed 79 people.

Unfortunately, with its jihadist operation having increasingly taken root in the United States, al-Shabab’s next target may be much closer to home.

Frank Crimi


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Defeating Islamic Terrorism Through Appeasement

by Daniel Greenfield

The Obama Administration has a new strategy for combating Islamic terrorism. The document that lays out its new strategy avoids using “Terrorism” in its title, instead substituting “Violent Extremism”. Jihad is not mentioned anywhere. Even “Muslim” is used as little as possible.

Eight pages of mostly redundant text repeat the same idea, that the only way to fight Islamic terrorism is by partnering with and empowering Muslim communities and organizations. That is the “revolutionary” new idea that merited coverage from the New York Times, NPR and CNN. And if the strategy had to be summed up in one word, it would be, “Collaborate!”

“Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in the United States,” sounds almost as catchy as “Man-Caused Disasters”, and comes from the same school of thought. The University of Denial, whose motto is that the best way to fight Islamic terrorism, is not to talk about it. And “Not talking about it” is a big part of the new strategy. The document warns repeatedly that associating Islam with terrorism leads to terrorism. WWII had “Loose Lips, Sink Ships”, and we have, “Loose Stereotypes Fly Planes into Buildings.”

Released as an answer to Congressman King’s hearings into Islamic radicalization, it completely fails to address the questions raised by those hearings. Instead the strategy compares Islamic terrorism to gangs and pedophiles– treating it as a persistent social issue, rather than a violent threat. And its only answer is to keep working with Muslim groups to teach their youth not to do drugs, join gangs or blow up bombs.

Empowering Local Partners is a transparent defense of CAIR and other Muslim organizations accused of radical activities. But rather than countering the charges raised against them, it pretends those charges have never been made, and urges law enforcement to continue partnering with Muslim groups. A course that leads local and national law enforcement to unwittingly work with the political partners and fundraisers of terrorist organizations.

The White House could not have found anyone better to devise its new strategy than Quintan Wiktorowicz. After September 11, Wiktorowicz co-wrote an article for the Saudi funded Middle East Policy Council Journal, which made a point of distinguishing between Al-Qaeda and more mainstream organizations such as Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Wiktorowicz also distinguished between violent and non-violent Salafis. The “good” Salafis have PhD’s from Saudi universities. The “bad” Salafis are a “small radical fringe” who are mostly self-taught and ignorant. Want to fight Islamic terrorism, then you have to put more Islamic scholars with Saudi PhD’s on the job.

This is exactly the argument that Wiktorowicz makes, that “very religious Muslims” are “the most resistant to radicalization” while those most likely to be radicalized lack a good grounding in Islam. Fighting Islamic terrorism with Islamism was his approach in the UK and it derives from his fondness for Salafism.

In another Middle East Policy Council Journal article, Wiktorowicz warned against “radicalizing the Salafis and creating a legion of new supporters for Bin Laden”. This is the fulcrum of appeasement. On the one hand Wiktorowicz and those like him argue that terrorists are a tiny minority of a tiny minority. On the other, if the United States fails to mend its ways, they warn that any number of Muslims can become radicalized and turn into terrorists.

Wiktorowicz’s defense of Salafism as a primarily non-violent movement and his warnings about alienating them expose him as the apologist for a radical movement whose control over mosques in America has been identified as a key factor in radicalization. Mainstream defenders of Islam try to separate Salafism from what they claim is a more moderate Islam– but Wiktorowicz even defends Salafis as peaceful.

The new strategy could have been written in Saudi Arabia. And for all intents and purposes was.

The New York Times cites the ACLU and a study by Political Research Associates as influencing the need for a sanitized presentation of Islamic terrorism to law enforcement. There is a reason however that the Times does not mention PRA by name, referring to it instead as “a liberal group”.

Political Research Associates is a radical left-wing organization that claims Christians are plotting to take over the United States. The hypocrisy of citing a study that claims law enforcement officials are exposed to conspiracy theories about an Islamic takeover of the United States– by an organization that accuses Christians of the same thing– may have been obvious even to the usually tone deaf Times, hence the evasiveness about naming PRA.

What PRA has in common with Saudi Arabia is that neither of them wants to allow a serious discussion about Islamic terrorism. Instead they want the conversation to be about how overblown and how dangerous such talk is. But if talk of Islamic terrorism is overblown, then why is it dangerous? And if it is dangerous, then why is it overblown?

“Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in the United States,” replaces terrorism with euphemism. With words so generic that they mean nothing at all. And the content is equally generic. Swap out a few words and it could be about any social problem.

Even former Hizb-ut-Tahrir member Ed Husain, now at the Council on Foreign Relations, has been critical of the new strategy for not addressing Islamic ideology, and prison and campus radicalization. But that’s the essence of the new strategy. Inaction and ignorance.

The new strategy is eight pages of inaction. Eight pages of silence. Eight pages of noise. It is not a document that sets out real goals and objectives. Its only objective is to sideline serious critical work and replace it with blank buzzwords. With FBI agents and prosecutors visiting mosques, removing their shoes, pressing the flesh and then going back to doing nothing. Because they have no idea what’s out there anymore.

Intelligence is the first line of defense against any threat. To know the enemy is the first step toward defending against an attack. But how do you defend against a threat, when you can’t even spell its name?

The Orwellian blankness of the new strategy is a space of ignorance to mask the truth of terrorism. The enemy is reduced to a social problem, terrorism to violent extremism and the war on terror to programs teaching Muslims about the dangers of violent extremism on the internet. The same dead end European counter-terrorism strategies imported to the United States.

The new strategy begins with Obama carefully using the Arabic transcription spelling of Usama and al-Qa’ida, and ends on cautioning that, “Strong religious beliefs should never be confused with violent extremism.” Unless you’re Christian, of course.

Daniel Greenfield


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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Jonathan Pollard: A Tale of Injustice

by Joseph Puder

Jonathan Pollard was tried and convicted in November 1985, in what amounted to a less than fair trial. Pollard, who passed information to Israel, an openly declared ally and not an enemy state, received the same sentence as John Walker, Robert Hansson, and Aldrich Ames, all of whom notoriously betrayed their country by selling top U.S. secrets to the Soviet Union for money. Not only did they endangered U.S. security in the process, but claimed the lives of many U.S. agents. The eagerness of then-Secretary of Defense Casper Weinberger to punish Pollard — a U.S. Navy intelligence analyst — was unprecedented in such cases.

Today, 26 years into his imprisonment, Pollard’s health has deteriorated, and he is suffering kidney failure and gallbladder complications. Israeli Knesset member Uri Ariel (National Union), chairman of the Pollard lobby in the Knesset (Israel’s parliament), denounced Pollard’s treatment by U.S. authorities, declaring that, “Pollard’s imprisonment is a humanitarian disgrace.” He then added, “I call on President Obama to release him immediately, not because he is not guilty, but because you can’t keep a sick and non-dangerous man imprisoned for so many years.”

The cruelty of the U.S. authorities toward Pollard is deliberate. Multiple requests to allow him to attend his father’s funeral were denied. His father, Professor Morris Pollard, a prominent U.S. researcher on viral diseases, died on June 18, 2011 at the age of 95. Human rights champions were glaringly silent in the face of Washington’s lack of empathy in denying the request. Pollard was also denied the opportunity to bid farewell to his mother, when in December 2001 he was refused permission to attend her funeral. Pollard has also been denied conjugal visits with his wife, Esther. This sort of extremeness on the part of the U.S. authorities is unprecedented in the Western world.

Pollard has denied that he spied “against” the U.S. and claimed that he only provided Israel with information vital to its security, which was being deliberately withheld by the Pentagon. A 1983 Memorandum of Understanding between the U.S. and Israel ensured that such information would be transferred. Pollard provided information that dealt with Soviet arms shipments to Syria and Iraq, chemical weapons in these countries, as well as information about the Pakistani nuclear bomb project and Libya’s defense systems. None of this information could possibly have endangered U.S. security.

According to a 2006 interview with Rafael Eitan, Pollard’s alleged Israeli handler, “It is likely that [Israel] could have gotten the same information without him.” Eitan claimed that the information Pollard passed on might have made a difference had Israel been involved in another war. According to Eitan, a spy named Aldrich Ames, who betrayed American agents and contributed to their deaths, tried to implicate Pollard. Pollard, as Eitan charged, never exposed American agents.

Dr. Lawrence Korb, former assistant secretary of defense in the Reagan administration, charged in a letter to President Obama dated September 27, 2010 that “Pollard’s life sentence does not fit the crime.” Dr. Korb “called on Obama to grant Pollard clemency.” Korb wrote:

Jonathan Pollard is the only person in the history of the United States to receive a life sentence for passing classified information to an American ally. Based on my first-hand knowledge, I can say with confidence that the severity of Pollard’s sentence is a result of an almost visceral dislike of Israel and the special place it occupies in our foreign policy on the part of my boss at the time, Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger. Secretary Weinberger submitted two affidavits to the court in order to convince the judge to give Pollard a harsher sentence than the one requested by the government, despite Pollard admitting guilt, plea bargaining and cooperating with the government. The government committed to not seeking a life sentence but due to the Weinberger Affidavits, the redacted version of which I have read, Mr. Pollard received a disproportionate life sentence. Secretary Weinberger omitted his crucial involvement in the Pollard case from his memoirs and when asked by the famed investigative journalist Edwin Black, about the omission, Weinberger indifferently responded, “Because it was, in a sense, a very minor matter, but made very important.” Asked to explain, Weinberger continued, “As I say, the Pollard matter was comparatively minor. It was made far bigger than its actual importance.” When asked why this was so, Weinberger replied “I don’t know why – it just was.” Mr. Pollard was not charged with harming America and has repeatedly expressed remorse for his actions. Furthermore, the average sentence for his offense is 2-4 years and today the maximum sentence is 10 years. Justice would best be served by commuting Pollard’s sentence to the time he has already spent in prison.

The double-standard applied in Pollard’s case smacks of nothing less than unadulterated anti-Semitism. Pollard was given a maximum sentence because he passed information to Israel, information that the U.S. as an ally, friend, and protector should have passed on to Israel anyway. Israel has never done the same to American or Israelis recruited by Washington to spy on Israel.

Washington used Pollard to punish Israel. For comparison, a former U.S. Navy sailor who provided secret information about planned ship movements to al-Qaeda received a maximum 10-year prison sentence. The former sailor, Hassan Abu-Jihaad, was convicted in 2008 of disclosing secrets on ship movements to potentially enable an attack similar to the one carried out against the USS Cole, which killed 17 U.S. sailors. Hassan Abu-Jihaad will be eligible for parole in six years while Pollard is rotting in prison, his life destroyed. Pollard will probably never have children, his family is gone, and his state of health is in shambles.

Pollard’s actions were illegal, but not treasonous, and his punishment should have reflected this difference. The information he passed on to the Israelis did not endanger American lives or damage American interests. He and his former wife, Anne, acted upon what they considered “the right thing to do.” They were not motivated by greed, and Pollard maintained all along that he loved his country. The U.S. government should demonstrate its humanitarianism by releasing Pollard immediately, and end its bullying of its most trusted ally in the Middle East — Israel — through the person of Jonathan Pollard.

Joseph Puder


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