Friday, November 21, 2014

Israel Can Prevail in its Struggle against Violence - Dr. Mordechai Kedar



by Dr. Mordechai Kedar

Israel can withstand and overcome the current wave of violence, which is just another chapter in the struggle against Arab and Islamist hatred. But to do so, there are concrete steps that Israel should take - now.

The problem:

During these difficult days of increasing terror, the most urgent question is: What can we do in order to cope optimally with the growing terrorist violence in Israel, knowing that behind the scenes there are several players who are expending intense efforts to bring about an explosion.

Leading the pack is Hamas, whose goal is to become the undisputed leader of the Palestinian Arabs at the expense of the Palestinian Authority – and, for good measure, giving Sisi something to remember.
Supporting Hamas is a coalition composed of Qatar and Turkey, with unlimited sources of funds.
The PLO, at the same time, is trying to hold on to first place and cannot allow itself to appear less extreme than Hamas, for fear it will be accused of cooperating with Israel. This is the origin of the two-faced behavior of the PA: on the one hand, it presents a cooperative face to Israel and on the other hand, it stabs Israel in the back, through incitement and education, on the street and in international forums.

Qatar bases its standing in the Arab world and the West by pouring oil on the fire, exactly as it does with Islamic State. Hypocritically, in the usual Qatari fashion, it funds Islamic state while, as part of the Western coalition, it expresses support for those who fight it.

Behind the scenes of the growing terror Israel faces stands Islamic State, the model for successful battles against the enemies of Islam: massacre the enemy, act with extreme violence and use fast vehicles that give the impression of Jihad's sweeping, advancing victory. The murderers who entered the Jerusalem Synagogue did not bring long butcher's cleavers for nothing.

The solution:

1. First of all, Israel must say emphatically: the Palestinian Authority established on the basis of the Oslo Accords is an enemy entity, an enemy whose goal is establishing an Arab state  in place of Israel, not alongside Israel, but on its ruins. That is the reason the Oslo Accords were violated so blatantly and thoroughly by the other side, resulting in them being declared null and void..

In addition, Israel must cease funding the PA on the basis of economic agreements derived from the Oslo Accords. There is no other country that funds an enemy entity, and there is no reason for Israel to be the only country that acts in such a delusional manner.

The government of Israel must condemn those among us who were instrumental in giving us the "New Middle East", even those who once held posts of high honor.

2. Israel must announce as clearly as possible that Jerusalem is not the subject for any negotiations with anyone. It was never the capital of any entity connected to the Arab or Islamic world and was never ruled by a king, sultan, emir or caliph, so that there is no historical or legal basis for demanding that it be the capital of any state other than Israel.

3. Israel must point out to the entire world that Jerusalem is the most ancient capital in the world, and was the People of Israel's capital thousands of years before Washington was the capital of the US, Paris was the capital of France and London was the capital of Britain. We Jews worshiped one G-d in Jerusalem in both of the Temples, while our neighbors were tribes wandering in the desert, drinking wine, burying their daughters alive and worshiping idols.

4. Israel has to remind the entire world that Judea, Samaria and Eastern Jerusalem were areas occupied by Jordan for 19 years, from May 1948 until June 1967. Had the Arab world felt it was just and necessary, it could have established a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital then, without anyone in the world disputing it.  The Arabs  refrained from doing that for the 7000 days in which Jordan had control of the area and therefore have no right to demand from Israel what they did not demand from themselves.

5. Israel must immediately shut down all the PA institutions in Jerusalem and any governmental entity that is not that of the state of Israel. Sovereignty cannot be shared or compromised on, because he who compromises with regard to his sovereignty loses it.

6.The police must issue a restraining order against all Islamic Movement activists, first and foremost to Sheikh Raad Salah and his deputy Sheikh Kamal el Khatib.  After that, the possibility of issuing an order forbidding them to leave Um El Fahem and Kafr Kana should be considered.

7. Israel must immediately shut down all the Hamas TV stations broadcasting in Judea and Samaria.

8. Israel must keep the bodies of all dead terrorists who committed terror attacks. To all events, Israel must forbid their burial in Jerusalem, especially not in the vicinity of the Temple Mount, because burial in that spot is an expression of pride in the shahid and  encourages more terror.

9. Israel must announce that it is building a new neighborhood, a new settlement or at least a new building in Jerusalem or Judea and Samaria in memory of every terror victim. Let the terrorists discover that terror makes the Jewish People's connection to its land stronger.

10. Israel must change the way it views Europe. This continent is gradually turning into an Islamist area, and European politicians are becoming more and more dependent on the Muslim voter.They have to take stands dictated to them by the voters in their electoral district, and these brought their visceral hatred of Jews and Israel with them from their countries of origin. I do not see this pattern changing, so that for Israel, relying on Europe is a waste of effort at best and under normal circumstances, like entering hostile territory.

11. Israelis have to internalize the fact that their neighbors do not want them in the Middle East, and that Tel Aviv and Ramat Hasharon as seen as "settlements" just as Eli, Shilo and Neve Daniel are.  The entire Peace industry is just froth topping the waves of the stormy waters of the Middle East. It succeeded in blinding us to the point where we did not accept the reality of the situation and it managed to neutralize the will of some of us to fight for our land and freedom, but it had no absolutely no effect on our neighbors.

12. Israel must develop a psychological mindset that prepares it for a multi-pronged struggle, because many of the countries in the world are against the existence of the state of Israel and will do anything to weaken its security, economic stability and legitimacy.

Israel must publicly condemn people, such as Martyn Indyk, who accept funding from countries like Qatar which uses its money to influence political stands vis a vis Israel.

13. Israel's justice system must internalize the fact that we are struggling for our survival. We cannot relate to enemies of the state as if they are deserving of mercy at the hands of our country's legal system. The legal system was not intended to make the state vulnerable but to base it on law and order so that it can continue to function during difficult times.

14. The people of Israel must trust in G-d and in themselves, they must be prepared to fight for their existence. This struggle is infinitely more important than what the Knesset and the media have been stressing - VAT on purchasing an apartment or any internal political struggle. Ministers and MK's must rise above narrow party considerations and begin to lead the Jewish people in its struggle to keep its land, state and liberty.


Dr. Mordechai Kedar is a senior lecturer in the Department of Arabic at Bar-Ilan University. He served in IDF Military Intelligence for 25 years, specializing in Arab political discourse, Arab mass media, Islamic groups and the Syrian domestic arena. Thoroughly familiar with Arab media in real time, he is frequently interviewed on the various news programs in Israel.

Source: http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/4894/beautifying-islam

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

PA Will Stand Trial in New York for Terrorism - Ari Yashar



by Ari Yashar


Shurat Hadin wins major decision as court date set in $1 billion lawsuit against PA and PLO for committing and supporting terrorist attacks.


Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades terrorists
Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades terrorists
Ahmad Khateib/Flash 90
 
Shurat Hadin (Israel Law Center) on Thursday won a major decision in their landmark case against the Palestinian Authority (PA), achieving a court date in a $1 billion case exposing PA and Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) culpability in numerous terror attacks.

The Israeli-based civil rights organization sued the PA on behalf of 11 families for involvement of PA and PLO members in seven terror attacks between 2001 and 2004 during the Second Intifada.

Now a trial will be held in New York in January, allowing the lawsuit originally brought in 2004 to be heard in court after the defendants' request to dismiss the trial was overruled.

"For years the PA provided funding and every measure of support for the murderous terrorist operations in Israel that devastated the country and left so many civilians dead," said Shurat Hadin director Attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner.

Darshan-Leitner added "the decision and trial will provide an unprecedented opportunity to present to a New York jury all that the evidence that has been amassed documenting the Palestinians use of terrorism as an official policy to advance their goals."

In setting the court date, the US District Court in New York found there was sufficient evidence to present to a jury that the PA and PLO had provided material support for seven attacks that killed American citizens, and that the PA could be tried for being "vicariously liable" on six of the seven attacks.

The decision found there was enough evidence to rule that PA employees conducted terrorist attacks against civilians in Israel, and that the PA and PLO provided weapons, money and other material support in violation of the Anti-Terror laws.

Additionally, the court found the jury could rule that the PA provided safe haven to the terrorists, and gave material support to the terrorist organizations Hamas and Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, the "military wing" of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction.

Shurat Hadin has been actively pursuing the PA in international courts, recently filing a war crimes complaint in the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Abbas.

It is hoped that the hearings in January will allow further recourse against Arab terrorism, as was achieved in a recent ruling finding the Arab Bank guilty of funding Hamas attacks. Arab Bank has submitted for a retrial on the ruling.


Ari Yashar

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/187704#.VG5QTcl6h-g

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

Beautifying Islam - Ahmed Vanya



by Ahmed Vanya


Many people are understandably asking: What is the true nature of Islam? Is it that although there are many peaceful Muslims, Islam itself is not peaceful?
Classical Islamic law, developed over the history of Islam, is definitely not peaceful or benign, and therefore not suitable for this age; neither are its violent and grotesque progeny, such as Islamism and jihadism.
If Islam is a religion that stands for justice and peaceful coexistence, then this policy of jihad cannot be justified as sanctioned by a just and merciful creator.
Religious traditions have changed and evolved over time, therefore it is the duty of us Muslims, using reason and common sense, to reinterpret the scriptures to bring about an Islam that affirms and promotes universally accepted human rights and values. It is our duty to cleanse the traditional, literalist, classical Islam and purify it to make it an Islam that is worthy to be called a beautiful religion.
Looking at a year of beheadings by ISIS, child grooming abuses in the UK, judicial misconduct by the hanging judges of Iran, slaughtering and enslaving of Christians in Egypt and Africa, and various murders justified in the name of Islam throughout the world, many people are understandably asking: What is the true nature of Islam? Is it that although there are many peaceful Muslims, Islam itself is not peaceful?

If, for us Muslims, Islam is a religion of peace, justice, and mercy, how come the militants, who claim to be staunch Muslims -- who are ready to die for Islam and who claim to have established a state in the name of Islam in Iraq and Syria by sacrificing blood and lives -- are beheading journalists and aid workers, and enslaving religious minorities, all by citing Islamic Sharia Law?

The Taliban (literally "students") in Afghanistan have persecuted religious minorities and inflicted human right abuses against women -- and men who disagreed with them or who have fallen afoul of their laws. Boko Haram has also carried out human rights abuses in the name of Islam and Islamic law. In Malaysia, where "moderate" Islam is practiced, Christians cannot call God "Allah." In Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, and supposedly an ally of the U.S., the policies and practices carried out by the state, and the Wahhabi religious scholars in the name of Islam, are woefully anti-humanitarian. Many Muslims from around the world perform the religiously required pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina; a number of them are on the dole of the petrodollars provided by the Saudis, but do not show much concern for the human rights abuses carried out in the name of Islam by the Saudi establishment.

Many devout Muslims, like monks in monasteries, are busily trapped in performing rites and rituals, and ceding ever more ground to extremists, without adequately reflecting on the history of Islam, the nature of God and the nature of revelation from God.

We Muslims commonly believe that God sent prophets and messengers to every corner of the world since the beginning of creation to guide humanity, but that most, if not all, of the messages got corrupted and adulterated, one way or another, except the message of Islam. But it seems natural that most people, Muslims or not, also see their own religion as the only true religion. But there are religious traditions, both in Islam, such as many Sufi sects, and in other religions, that affirm the transcendental unity at the core of almost all religious traditions, and that are inclusive and universalistic in nature.

Also, Muslims learn from the Qur'an that hubris, or arrogance, is the greatest sin committed by the Satan, and that it was arrogance led him to disobey God. God asked him to bow to Adam, the first human, but Satan refused out of arrogance.

The current question seems to be: Did Muslims go astray very early on, when they conquered many lands and developed a massive doctrine and theology of intolerance (it took about 300 years to solidify Sharia after the passing of the Prophet Muhammad), due to pride and quest for power -- the very arrogance that is prohibited? Although many conversions to Islam did not occur by the sword, the first four caliphs (the so-called "Rightly Guided") and their successors did in fact send out armies to conquer the world. If Islam is a religion that stands for justice and peaceful coexistence, then this policy of jihad -- and the idea that peace and justice can be achieved only under Islamic sovereignty -- with Muslim rulers subjugating non-Muslims, cannot be justified as sanctioned by a just and merciful Creator.

The Islamic tradition is not monolithic; there are countless variants. Many of the Islamic Sufi traditions, for instance, that are often relentlessly condemned by the extremists, who likely see them as a threat to their own power -- are notable for their pluralistic and humanistic nature, even though, historically, some orders may have been more martial than spiritual.

There have been many individual Muslims throughout history who are truly freedom-loving and who respect the rights of all human beings. Also, historically, a number of Muslim kings, sultans and emperors in Andalusia, Spain -- and in the Ottoman Empire in Turkey, as well as in Mughal India -- who treated their non-Muslim subjects kindly, albeit not with full equality. The Ottoman Sultans established a system of "millet" whereby people of other religious communities were allowed to live in the Empire in peace, although as second-class "protected" citizens, had to pay a head tax called jizya, but were otherwise freely allowed to follow their own personal laws and religions (Canon law for Christians and halakha for the Jews), without attempting to convert them by compulsion.

Maimonides, the early medieval Jewish scholar, for example, makes it clear that even in the "golden age" of Islamic rule in Spain, it could be a bit nightmarish for the non-Muslims; but if the rulers were reasonably kind and tolerant, and if the intolerant religious leaders were not in control, non-Muslims could live restrained but reasonably comfortable lives, as dhimmis (protected people), under Islamic suzerainty.

When Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, died in the year 632 CE, the Qur'an had not been compiled as a book. The messages said to have been revealed from God, or Allah, to the Muhammad during a period of 23 years, during his prophetic career, were either orally passed down or written on animal bones, leather and scraps of parchment, without systematic collection or any adequate background or context.

The Prophet Muhammad himself did not provide any authoritative narration or explanation for the Qur'anic verses while he was alive. He also did not provide a method for selecting his successor, nor did he authorize his companions to record the Hadith (his actions and sayings) while he was alive. Later, therefore, subsequent generations would have to sift through mountains of dubious material, in an age of primitive record keeping -- and during a period of discord, partisanship and violence, even among those who were close to the Prophet.

In the Battle of Karbala in 680 CE (48 years after Muhammad's death), depicted in Abbas Al-Musavi's painting, Husayn, the son of 'Ali and grandson of Muhammad, was killed along with his family and all his followers by the armies of the Umayyad Caliphate. It was the most crucial moment in the split between Shi'a and Sunni Islam. (Image source: Brooklyn Museum)
The Qur'an and the six canonical Hadith collections primarily formed the twin pillars of the sources from which the scholars of Islam developed the principles of Sharia and the commandments of the Islamic laws. These try to give prescriptions and proscriptions for all human conducts imaginable.

But is it not possible that God wanted humans to use their brains and rational faculties, and that He did not provide step-by-step instructions for all the questions in life simply to be obeyed by humans without reflection or questioning? Although in Islam, there exists an important concept called ijtihad -- independent reasoning in legal matters -- the literalist, textual fundamentalist scholars declared this principle to be inoperable whenever there are clear-cut, decisive textual statements in the sacred texts on the issue in question. There is also a debate as to whether the gates of ijtihad were closed after the 10th century CE. While most traditional Islamic scholars and jurists still consider ijtihad to be the exclusive domain and prerogative of the preeminent religious scholars (mujtahid), and not for the general public, other scholars do not.

In the early days of Islam, right after the passing away of the Prophet Muhammad, Muslims splintered into many sects and factions. There were endless debates on the issues of religious doctrine, theology, and religious law, due to divergent interpretations of the Qur'an and the Hadiths. During that period, a group of theologians called the Mutazila, who based their theology on reason and rational thinking in conjunction with the sacred texts, waged an intellectual battle with the traditionalists, who gave absolute primacy to strict literal interpretations of the revealed texts: the Quran and the Hadith. Unfortunately for the future of the Islamic tradition, the literal traditionalists won the struggle, and went on to establish among the Sunni Muslims the four legal schools of Sharia, which became the dominant form of Islam from then onwards.

This mainstream, legalistic, text-bound, literalist Islam -- now the dominant strain and controlled by the traditional Muslim scholars -- is a mixture of both humanistic ethical values, combined with supremacist ethos, as it developed throughout the centuries. Due to its literalist tradition, it does not have the flexibility or the ability to overcome interpretations of the scriptures that are inimical to pluralistic and humanistic values.

Many equate this literalist, legalistic, text-bound Islam to be the "true" Islam. But just because it is the dominant form of Islam does not mean that it is the "true" Islam. A careful study of the history of Islam indicates that this view is utterly unwarranted. Religious traditions have changed and evolved over time, based on the understandings, interpretations, and practices of their adherents. Therefore, it is the duty of us Muslims, using reason and common sense, to reinterpret the scriptures to bring about an Islam that affirms and promotes universally accepted human rights and values.

Classical Islamic law is a synthesis and deduction of rulings from the Quran and Hadith by the medieval scholars from when Muslims were powerful. Beheadings and enslavement at that time were widespread among many societies, not unique to the practice of Islam. Muslims believe that in the Quran we have a document from God that provides ethical guidance and moral lessons from the Prophet and his followers in the language many at the time understood. They allude to the practices and conduct suitable for the time and place in which the Prophet lived and was trying to influence people.

There were many actions of the Prophet recorded in the "authentic" Hadith, such as holding slaves, carrying out beheadings and so on, which are not easy to accept according to the present day norms, to say the least. But for the textual literalists, there is no question that whatever the Prophet did, as recorded in the approved texts, must be accepted and emulated without any question or hesitation. And in order to strengthen their text-based legal methodology, the textual literalists elevated the status of the so called "authentic" Hadith to the status of the divine scripture, almost equivalent to the status of the Qur'an, believed by almost all Muslims to be the literal word of Allah relayed to the Prophet.

For the rest of us, however, first, we need to realize that the "approved" texts were recorded by early methods and at least after a century or two after the passing of the Prophet in an age of violent sectarian conflicts. Therefore, it might be wise to take with a big grain of salt, the accuracy of these so called "approved" texts. Second, if the actions of the Prophet were so important as exact examples, then, why didn't he or his God make sure that authoritative, unambiguous, contemporary recordings of the actions were written down for posterity to follow? Either the Prophet or his God, or both, did not have foresight, or more than likely, these actions were not meant to be exactly copied and emulated, especially in different times, different places, and under vastly different circumstances.

While it is true that there are eternal principles in the Qur'an and the Hadith, such as peace, justice, and mercy, which are universal values, and therefore, incumbent on everyone to believe and practice at all times and at all places, it is also true that it is a betrayal of the true spirit of Islam to assume that God wanted Muslims to follow the Prophet blindly, slavishly, without thinking and reflecting. Is it possible, therefore, that the close-minded, literalist and text-bound tradition is a betrayal of the true spirit of Islam?

The pitfalls of the literalist methodology can be illustrated by looking at any textual document. The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, for example, affirms freedom of speech. But we know that, to "shout fire in a crowded theater" (when there is no fire), for example, endangering public safety, does not fall under the protection of the First Amendment. Any text by its very nature is finite and limited, and therefore cannot be comprehensive. Therefore, to be a strict literalist is to live in constant conflict with common sense and with practical reason. According to the literalist classical scholars of Islam, "justice" is achieved only by being obedient to God and reason by itself is not to be trusted to decide what is just and unjust.

For these literalist, text-bound scholars, there are no objective standards of right or wrong by using reason alone. In the mind of the literalists, the killing of innocents, for example, is wrong not because we learn from experience or reason, but because that is what God says in the Qur'an and the Hadith. According to them, God could just as well have said, for example, in the scripture that the killing of innocents is right, and therefore that makes it right.

The god of these scholars is not therefore a merciful and rational God but a god of power whose motto is: "Might is right!" In order to preserve the absolute omnipotence of God, these scholars sacrifice rationality as an essential attribute of God.

As Prof. Robert Reilly writes in the article, "The Formidable Philosophical Obstacles to Islamic Constitutionalism":
"There is a realm within which man is legitimately semi-autonomous and sovereign. Through his reason, he is called upon [to] figure out how to rule it and himself ... God [in the Judeo-Christian tradition] speaks to man with equal force through his reason, as He does through revelation. Reason, therefore, is morally legitimate as a source of law. What is reasonable is morally good."
If we Muslims want to stand up and challenge the literalism of the text-bound scholars and the militants who are beheading, enslaving and persecuting people around the world alike, we need to develop an interpretative methodology that balances revelation with reason as in other rational, religious traditions.

The militants are idealistic and impatient, and part of an ideology that has essentially become frozen in time, while the other Muslims are more careful, patient and circumspect, and dwell in a tolerant society without resorting to violence.

That is why many of these literalists believe that peace, justice and mercy (all interpreted according to the classical Sharia) can be achieved only under the sovereignty or hegemony of Islamic rule. And that is also why the OIC (Organization of Islamic Conference, since renamed the Organization of Islamic Cooperation), in 1990 came up with its own version of a human rights declaration, the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam -- based on Sharia law -- to supersede the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, approved by the UN in 1948.

So the vital question is: Can't we Muslims also learn from all of human history and all of nature -- the arts and the sciences -- which are also created and originated from God, as in "the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God," as stated in the U.S. Declaration of Independence?

There are signs and hints in the natural world that provide guidance from the Creator on a continuing basis, even after all the textual revelations. Although God has stopped sending His messages (revelations) through human messengers, He is still providing messages, in the form of natural phenomena in the world He created, so that human beings can experiment and learn, and benefit -- using reason and reflection.

Slavery and beheadings may have been suitable at some time in human history. But just because it is in the scriptural texts, it does not mean that we need to follow them to the letter so literally, for eternity -- unless we happen to agree with the literalists, and reject using reason and thinking to learn from the natural sciences and the experiences of human history.

A religion that prescribes killing or criminalizing apostates; condones institutionalized slavery, stoning, beheading, flogging, and amputations; which restricts and criminalizes freedom of speech and freedom of religion; commands the stoning of adulterers; develops a theory of constant state of war with non-believers; discriminates and demeans women and people of other religions is not only "The Religion of the Bigots" but it is also the Religion of the Bullies.

Classical Islamic law, developed over the history of Islam, is definitely not peaceful or benign, and therefore not suitable for this age; neither are its violent and grotesque progeny such as Islamism and jihadism.

If we Muslims believe that "true" Islam, which is genuinely aligned with the will of the Creator, must be fundamentally peaceful, comprehensively merciful and objectively just, then it is our duty to cleanse the traditional, literalist, classical Islam and purify it to make an Islam that is worthy to be called a beautiful religion.


Ahmed Vanya , based in San Jose, California, is a fellow at the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD).

Source: http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/4894/beautifying-islam

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

The Seventh Day War - Moti Karpel



by Moti Karpel


Published by Makor Rishon in Hebrew; published by Women in Green in English


We must now correct the mistake that we made at the end of the Six Day War: Only application of Israeli sovereignty in Yosh*will solve the “Palestinian problem”

There is a reason for the Israeli government’s inability to call the current wave of terror by its real name, or by any name. Calling something by its name imbues it with meaning, man’s definition of what, in his eyes, is the purpose of the thing and what he wants from it. But the Israeli government has only one wish regarding this wave of terror – that it should pass. The government hasn’t the faintest idea what it wants from the terror, how to use it as leverage toward our goals or how to cope with it at all.

It would be a great mistake to call the wave of terror a “third intifada”. If we accept the enemy’s definition of the battle and leave him to determine its essence and its goals, why, it is a rout from the start. And it is an admission that from our point of view the battle is gratuitous and meaningless, that we do not understand its background, its reasoning and its meaning, and that those who have fallen, have died in vain.

The name for the increasingly large and frequent waves of terror – and among them, the current one– must be clear and cogent to all of us: The Seventh Day War. This is their real meaning.

The Arab waves of terror are not random – they are a lesson from history, and nations pay a price for lessons of history. Since we did not understand with our heads, we will learn with our feet, the hard way.

Our original sin is the Israeli society’s inability to apply the sovereignty of the State of Israel over the territories of Judea and Samaria the day after the Six Day War. If only we had done so then, the Arab residents would have accepted it as natural and would have acquiesced to our dominion in the Land. But the problems of identity and ideology that we “imported” with our return from exile prevented us from doing this. The vacuum that was created – the vague, temporary and unstable situation of “neither swallowing nor spitting out” – was destined to be filled with the pretension of Palestinian nationhood and their unfounded aspiration for an independent state, which encouraged rebellion against us and caused frustration and needless suffering on both sides. This is the general idea: we have no problems with Arabs, only with ourselves.

Today, in the present reality that we have created with our own hands, the time has come to recognize the need to end the Six Day War once and for all: this is the War of the Seventh Day.

The majority of the Israeli public has learned three insights from the past forty years: the first is that dividing the land and establishing a Palestinian state would bring on a sort of national suicide. Second, the Arabs do not want a state of their own – they want our state. Third, that which drives Arab terror is not despair, but rather the hope**.

The Israeli response to the Arab terror offensive must first of all be political, not military. It should send the message that we have learned our lesson, that we are determined to correct the error at its foundation. The response must be application of Israeli sovereignty - at least according to Naftali Bennett’s minimal plan, the territories of Area C first – as a step toward Israeli territorial resolution. Only such an act will make it clear to the Arabs and to the world that the People of Israel is determined in its decision that a Palestinian state will not be established – a necessary condition for the destruction of illusions, pretensions and vain hopes, which are the swamp which terror feeds on.
The military arm of the response should be only secondary. It should complement the political part, to support it and to secure it – enlist all of the forces and mainly all of the required determination to destroy the Arab attempt to harm our sovereignty.

Of course, this is a difficult route and we will sustain casualties. But this time they will not be the meaningless victims of another dead-end military round. Resolution and meaning: this time it will be a decisive war – proactive, rational, and realistic, with defined goals and a clear political scope.
Now is the time. The Arab world is busy with its problems and is neutralized. It, the world in general, as well as most of the Arab population in Judea and Samaria will respond at first in the expected way: condemnations, boycotts, political pressure and so forth. But when the routine formalities are over, at least within their own hearts, they will all thank us for our resolution. 

There will, of course, be those who will continue the terror and even intensify it. These – from those who carry flags and banners, the stone throwers and upwards – will have one decree: expulsion. On the other side of our border in the Golan Heights, there is no proven sovereignty today, and there is no problem to organize an array of transports to go there. Don’t worry, it should not be too extensive – after 100-200 expulsions the matter will calm down.

Everyone, and especially most of the Arab population in Judea and Samaria, will thank us ultimately that we were finally kind enough to be responsible people, that we finally have rid the world of the “Palestinian problem”. 


*Yosh – the Hebrew acronym for Judea and Samaria
**The Hope (Hatikva) is the name of Israel’s national anthem



Translated from Hebrew by Sally Zahav


Moti Karpel

Source: First published by Makor Rishon in Hebrew; then published by Women in Green in English

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

A Druze Israeli says: We are one family - Naif Alian



by Naif Alian


We, the Druze, are part of the people of Israel. I have never felt a difference between me, my relatives and my friends and the Jewish people. We are one family, always have been and always will be.

Four months ago, after my son Rasan was wounded in battle in Shujaiyya, I stayed by his side at Soroka Medical Center, and I was amazed. At times, it seemed as if the whole country was there to visit and embrace him. Hundreds of people came -- government ministers, Knesset members, senior military officers, soldiers and even a little girl, who gave him a goodie bag with apples, nuts and candy inside. 

There is no question that we are in a difficult time right now. We should be able to walk freely around our capital city and stand at light rail stations without fear. Jews should be able to pray in synagogues safely. The feeling in the air is not good, and the state must do everything possible to quell this wave of terrorism. There is no forgiveness for acts of terrorism like the ones we have witnessed recently.

Here in Shfaram, we do not feel the tension. Life is going on as usual, quietly, and we are not changing our normal behavior. We will never let anyone change that. 

The blood pact between Druze and Jews in the land of Israel began in the 1930s, and it will never be broken. When Haganah forces arrived in Shfaram, my late father Hussein joined them. During the War of Independence, he and 30 other local Druze enlisted in the Israel Defense Forces and took part in the liberation of the Galilee. 

In the 1950s, my father was one of the five sheikhs who signed the agreement making military service compulsory for the Druze. In 1957, I lost my brother Salim during his military service. Today, I am the proud father of three IDF officers. They have never felt different from anyone else and have always walked with their heads held high -- as I taught them to do.

I was sorry to see the recent clashes between Druze and Israeli Arabs. This was not the first time this has happened, but I hope it will be the last. I have had many conversations with friends in Abu Snan, and I have told them to count to 10 before reacting to anything. 

And now, as we look ahead, we must be strong to defend our country and protect the lives of each and every one of us. I just ask that politicians in the Knesset stop squabbling among themselves and unite for the sake of our future.


Naif Alian

Source: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=10645

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

Common Core: Just Standards or Deceit? - Mary Anne Marcella



by Mary Anne Marcella



There are many things that concern this parent and teacher involving the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), the least of which is the actual standards themselves. My work as a teacher exposes me directly to what seem to be underhanded acts of educational tyranny. My friends, family, and co-workers, preoccupied just trying to get their children and students prepared for the “rigorous” set of Common Core Standards, don’t notice the red flags. While they are focused on how to achieve success with Common Core, I am losing sleep over what I see and what I fear may be the endgame.

Today, the testing of CCSS is being used to ultimately transfer local control, in violation of the Tenth Amendment, to the federal government. With that transfer comes the possibility that this power in the hands of the federal government could be used for worrisome purposes. Would the federal government use this power to mold the minds of children by defining moral values? Would they attempt to influence the beliefs of the citizenry through messages hidden in texts? Would they push and try to normalize a leftist agenda that contradicts the beliefs of most Americans? Would they use data to track our children through adulthood using hundreds of data points? Would they keep a watchful eye on children across America, via I-pads and other devices, and know who to re-educate? Would they divide students who are willing and able to comply from those who will not accept their worldview? Would they indoctrinate for the common good of a centralized controlled government? Would America become a nation, not of achievers and innovators, but of mediocre workers to be utilized for the collective good of the state?   

Evidence is showing that much of this is already happening. For example, teachers across America are forced to use Common Core compliant materials (textbooks, modules, performance assessments, et al) via an evaluation system that punishes them if they don’t comply. (See, American Thinker, October 3, 2014, “Common Core Teacher Evaluations: Ensuring Conformity in Every Classroom").  The “Common Core compliant” materials are sought by teachers, school districts, and parents because they trust that using them will ensure that their children perform well on the “rigorous” Common Core assessments.  One thread woven through these “common core compliant” materials is moral relativism.  My fifth-grade class read a book called Sounder. This book has been around many years, but it illustrates just how simple it is to train children to think a certain way. The book tells the story of a poor black sharecropper, and presumably takes place in the south in the 1940s. The man loves his wife and children. He is extremely poor. He is terribly exhausted. He works gruelingly hard, but he just can’t get anywhere. He hunts every day with the family dog but food is still difficult to come by. It’s easy to empathize with the character, a man who is doing the right thing and getting nothing for it. One day he comes home with a ham. His wife is worried because she knows he didn’t buy it.  Despite this, the family enjoys the ham for days. Even the dog gets scraps. Eventually, the police come and arrest him for stealing the ham. Suffice to say, the punishment is severe. The dog is even shot by the ruthless (white) police. I won’t give away any more of the book. After reading this story, children who agreed that stealing is wrong under absolutely any circumstances, now are not so sure. 
Maybe it is okay to steal to feed your family. Then, after reading the book, the children may be asked to write an opinion essay in which they address, “Under what circumstances is it okay to steal?” The premise being that stealing can be justified. In addition to the textbooks themselves, you can find examples like this hidden within Common Core compliant math word problems, quizzes, assessments and even sentences. (For example, place the proper punctuation on this sentence: “Government gives us our rights”.) Throughout these Common Core materials are messages that normalize things, in small impressionable brains, that may be contrary to your worldview. Throughout these Common Core materials are values that are being taught that parents might protest if they were made clearer. Parents, are you okay with this?

There are more tentacles to Common Core, and admittedly, some of the standards seem benign. (For example, “Students will understand how characters react to challenges in the story.”) However, the purpose of Common Core is not revealed in the standards. It is revealed in the view that there are no absolute truths or values. It is revealed in the teaching of “higher order thinking” which is attained when a child no longer believes in right and wrong. It is revealed in the view that all that is new is better than what comes from previous generations of knowledge, and much more. Common Core is not just a set of standards. That we very well may have been deceived and that we fell for it with such unflinching obedience, and that there is the potential for total control in the hands of a few who may or may not exploit it, is what keeps this teacher and parent up at night.


Mary Anne Marcella received a B.A from New York University and an M.S in Elementary Education from Lehman College. She lives with her family in New Canaan, CT. She is a parent and public school teacher who cares about her children and her students. Her views are her own and do not necessarily reflect the views of others in the education field. You may contact her maryannem@optonline.net or twitter Maryanne@maryannemercog

Source: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2014/11/common_core_just_standards_or_deceit.html

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

The Tyranny of Silence - Deborah Weiss and Andrew Harrod



by Deborah Weiss and Andrew Harrod


Even amidst death threats and Islamist violence, Flemming Rose remains a staunch advocate for freedom of speech.  In a Europe with ever-increasing speech restrictions, he argues for the equivalent of a global First Amendment. 

On October 13, 2014, both the Cato Institute and the Newseum in Washington, DC, hosted Rose, author of the recently published book, The Tyranny of Silence. Rose and his paper maintain high security generally. But surprisingly, the only apparent security at these two events consisted of security guards from institutions holding them. Cato had approximately 75 people in attendance, including a young man from FIRE. The Newseum had a smaller audience, consisting of about 35 people, most of whom were older and likely Newseum members, as only members were sent prior notification. Both audiences were attentive, responsive and had numerous questions for the editor during Q&A. Additionally, both events were taped for online viewing.

Rose is an editor of Jyllands-Posten, a Danish newspaper, notorious for its 2005 publication of twelve cartoons of the Muslim Prophet Mohammad. Considered blasphemous, the drawings provided Islamists with an excuse to riot across the Muslim world and destroy Danish embassies, killing approximately 200 people.

Preceding these events, Danish author Kåre Bluitgen, wrote a children’s book on Islam’ s Prophet and wanted to include illustrations. Bluitgen sought to commission several illustrators for the Mohammad images. Two declined and one agreed on the condition of anonymity. The illustrators cited safety concerns stemming from death threats to Salmon Rushdie in the United Kingdom and the murder of Theo van Gogh in the Netherlands, both of whom allegedly “blasphemed” Islam. Questions arose as to whether fear caused the illustrators to engage in self-censorship concerning Islam, and whether individuals in the media should cater to a small minority that reacts violently to discussion deemed offensive.

Jyllands-Posten asked members of the illustrator’s union to draw Mohammad as they saw him. The newspaper accepted submissions for seven to ten days. It subsequently published twelve illustrations along with an article addressing free speech and self-censorship. “No one could have anticipated” what would follow, Rose explained. The cartoons were the purported cause of violence that erupted throughout the Middle East, making Rose and his newspaper the center of a media storm. All context was lost.

Rose had sought a debate about ideas and a civil way to maintain a dialogue. Yet jihadists threatened to bomb the Jyllands-Posten’s offices and murder the cartoonists, forcing several of them into hiding. Both Rose and Jyllands-Posten have had to maintain heavy security ever since.

Several Muslim organizations filed a complaint against Jyllands-Posten accusing it of violating the Danish Criminal Code. The statute prohibits public ridicule of religious dogma or public statements that cause a group to feel “threatened, scorned or degraded” due to race or religion. However, using a narrow legal interpretation of the statute, the Danish government decided not to pursue the case, stating that it did not meet the necessary pre-requisites for prosecution.

Rose stated that self-censorship in Europe has worsened since the Jyllands-Posten’s publication of the cartoons. Rose was confronted with numerous anti-free speech arguments. “Isn’t it hurting the religious feelings of people with deeply held beliefs?” “Isn’t it a smart business decision not to use language in newspapers that might offend readers?” “Isn’t is just good manners not to insult someone’s beliefs?”  (paraphrasing) But Rose, without missing a beat, had an articulate and persuasive answer for each point. He insisted that the omission of language regarding Islam did not constitute simply a business decision, as all readers occasionally face offense. Nor did it stem from good manners, as the motivation was not to be polite. Rather, it was self-censorship based on fear and intimidation.

Rose ardently advocated for the equivalent of a worldwide First Amendment, arguing for a free marketplace of ideas including religious doctrine. “Religious feelings cannot demand special treatment” he proclaimed, noting that people might have other deeply held beliefs where they could claim equivalent offense.

European laws balance freedom of expression against other rights such as the right to privacy and the right not to be offended. Therefore, European countries have various laws prohibiting hate speech, religious denigration, and racism. However, “almost absolute” freedom of speech, with exceptions for incitement to violence and defamation of individuals, “makes America unique.” Free speech is “not a balancing test” against the so-called right not to be offended. Offensive speech is constitutionally protected if it’s true or mere opinion.

Rose aptly noted that hate speech restrictions have not reduced violence. Indeed, riots have always erupted in countries where hate speech, blasphemy laws and other speech restrictions exist, but have been violated. Proponents of hate speech laws claim that hate speech leads to violent acts, but there is no evidence to support their claims. In countries where freedom flourishes, offensive expression incites minimal violence.

Rose also noted a seeming paradox: where immigration rises causing an increase in diversity of race and religion, there’s a decrease in the diversity of ideas allowed expression.

When asked if he thought there is a proper role for government censorship, Rose answered with a resounding “no!” Rose noted that while Kurt Westergaard, cartoonist of Mohammad with a bomb in his turban, became victim of an assassination attempt, some believe he deserved his fate. And, the Netherlands’ Minister of Justice professed, “if we had hate speech laws, then Van Gogh would be alive today.” Rose thinks both of these positions are outrageous because they condemn speech while justifying the violence in response to it.

Rose explained that many people fail to distinguish between words and deeds. And, “America is becoming more isolated” as tyrannical countries tighten speech restrictions. While American laws allow freedom, increasingly the citizens are plagued with peer pressure and political correctness, pushing for self-censorship.

Yet, “the right not to be offended” is the only right Rose believes individuals should not have in a democracy. Freedom should be paramount.

Refusing to be silent in the face of Islamist intimidation, Rose exercises that freedom courageously and without qualms.

———————————————–
This article was commissioned by The Legal Project, an activity of The Middle East Forum.


Deborah Weiss, Esq. is a contributing author to Saudi Arabia and the Global Islamic Network and the author of Council on American-Islamic Relations: its use of Lawfare and Intimidation. Her work can be found at www.vigilancenow.org
Andrew Harrod, JD, PhD is an independent researcher and writes for FrontPage Magazine and numerous other publications. He is also a fellow at The Lawfare Project and can be followed on Twitter at @AEHarrod.

Source: http://www.frontpagemag.com/2014/deborah-weiss-and-andrew-harrod/the-tyranny-of-silence/

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

A Battle Over the Divine Promise - Dr. Haim Shine



by Dr. Haim Shine


The horrifying image of an arm wrapped in tefillin along with the kind of plastic hospital wristband worn by a new mother is one that will not be forgotten quickly. It is the kind of image that sears itself into the pages of Jewish history, and its effect will never diminish. It is as the verse says: "I saw thee wallowing in thy blood, I said unto thee: In thy blood, live" (Ezekiel 16:6). Death and birth are interwoven for forever.

Rabbi Moshe Twersky, who was murdered in the terror attack in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Nof on Tuesday, was the grandson of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, a revered thinker and a central figure in American Jewry. I met Rabbi Soloveitchik during my studies at Yeshiva University in New York. His attitude toward the state of Israel was complex, not always clear, but his take on the meaning of the state was impressive.

In the 1950s, Soloveitchik wrote a wonderful article titled "Kol Dodi Dofek" ("The Voice of My Beloved Knocks") -- a comprehensive analysis of the meaning of the Jewish existence. In his article, Soloveitchik explains that the conflict with the Arab entity is not a political conflict, nor is it directed only at Israel -- it is a plot to destroy the entire Jewish population, to "slay man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep" -- a well-known Amalekite plot of thousands of years. In the 20th century it was led by Hitler. Now, it is being led by Iran and Islamist radicals. Soloveitchik warns that the Jews cannot rely on the integrity of the liberal world to defend them -- the enlightened liberals did not raise a finger, knowing full well the Jews' fate in Europe during the Holocaust. "If, heaven forbid, yet a second spectacle of blood were to take place before their very eyes, it is likely that they would not even lose a night's sleep over it." This is true today as well -- Jewish blood is being spilled and the nations of the world are entirely uninterested. 

Soloveitchik never dreamed that some 50 years later his grandson, who immigrated to Israel to live in Jerusalem and teach Torah there, would, along with others, pay with his life for the hatred, bloodshed and the insanity of vicious savages -- creatures who view the murder of Jews as a lofty religious obligation. A Jew reads a prayer and gives his soul to God while sanctifying his name, while the despicable killers yell "Allahu Akbar" ("God is great") and murder innocent people. 

When will the Left finally understand that our conflict with our neighbors is religious and not diplomatic? This is a battle over the divine promise to Abraham that "Unto thy seed will I give this land" (Genesis 12: 7), versus the Islamic belief that the Jews, in their refusal to recognize the Prophet Muhammad, have lost their right to Israel, as it says in the Quran. 
Therefore, a diplomatic resolution to the conflict is nothing more than a pipe dream. Hope is always important, but false hope can become an existential danger. The recent terror attacks in Jerusalem have proved, to whomever still needed proof, that the satanic verses and their human messengers do not distinguish between secular and observant Jews, between babies and adults, between Jews and non-Jews. When the angel of death raises his ax, there is no difference between one person's blood and another person's blood. 

This is a battle we have to win. We don't have any other choice. Victory can only be achieved by combining tactical approaches, like security and patrols, and, more importantly, our ancient strategic weapon of a shared Jewish fate and the willingness to give our lives to protect the only homeland that the people of Israel have.


Dr. Haim Shine

Source: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=10649

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