Friday, May 22, 2015

Fatah's Armed Militias Warn Israelis: "You Must Leave!" - Khaled Abu Toameh



by Khaled Abu Toameh


Translations of this item:
  • The international community and the media often ignore the fact that Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah has a number of armed groups. Their fight is to destroy Israel, eliminate the "Zionist entity" and achieve the "right of return" for millions of descendants of refugees.
  • The Palestinian Authority leadership has never distanced itself from the rhetoric and actions of these groups. Fatah's militias will be the first to reject any peace agreement that includes the slightest concession to Israel.
  • Several Fatah leaders, in fact, often speak in English about the need for reviving the peace process, while in Arabic they praise and endorse the Fatah gunmen.
Many in the international community often refer to the Palestinian Fatah faction, which is headed by Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas, as a "moderate" group that believes in Israel's right to exist and the two-state solution.

What these people do not know is that Fatah, the largest faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), consists of several groups that hold different views than those expressed by Abbas and other English-speaking Fatah officials.

Some of these Fatah groups do not believe in Israel's right to exist and continue to talk about the "armed struggle" as the only way to "liberate Palestine and restore Palestinian national rights."

One of these groups is called The Aqsa Martyrs Brigade - El Amoudi Brigade.

The Aqsa Martyrs Brigades is Fatah's armed wing, established shortly after the beginning of the second intifada in September 2000. Although the Palestinian Authority leadership maintains that the group has been dissolved and its members recruited into its security forces, scores of gunmen continue to operate freely in Palestinian villages and refugee camps in the West Bank.

Based in the Gaza Strip, the El Amoudi Brigade, which consists of dozens of Fatah gunmen, is named after Nidal El Amoudi, a top Fatah operative killed by the Israel Defense Forces on January 13, 2008, after he carried out a series of armed attacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers during the second intifada.

During the last war in the Gaza Strip between Israel and Hamas ("Operation Protective Edge"), the El Amoudi Brigade claimed responsibility for firing dozens of rockets at Israeli cities and IDF soldiers.

Sources in the Gaza Strip claim that many of the group's members are former security officers, still on the payroll of the PA. Other sources claim that the group is funded by ousted Fatah official Mohamed Dahlan, who is currently based in the United Arab Emirates, and the Lebanese Shiite terror group Hezbollah.

It is worth noting that the Palestinian Authority leadership has never distanced itself from the El Amoudi Brigade's rhetoric and actions.

In addition to an official website, Fatah's El Amoudi Brigade regularly issues threats to pursue the armed struggle against, and destroy, Israel. Last week, the group posted a video with a message to the "Israeli enemy" on the 67th anniversary of the creation of Israel -- which Palestinians refer to as "Nakba Day" (Day of Catastrophe).

Entitled, "A Message to the Israeli People" and accompanied by Hebrew subtitles, the video declares that the "battle for the liberation (of Palestine) was closer than ever," and warns Israelis: "Our Nakba (catastrophe) is unforgettable; soon you will have to leave because you have no other choice."

The Fatah video shows the group's members during military training in the Gaza Strip, in preparation for the next battle against Israel. "We have prepared the best soldiers," says the song in the background.

In a separate statement on the same occasion, the Fatah group emphasizes that the "armed struggle" against Israel "is the only means to liberate Palestine." It also stresses that the "right of return" for Palestinian refugees to their former homes inside Israel cannot be compromised and is non-negotiable. "Our people reject all alternative options to the right of return," the statement read, repeatedly referring to Israel as the "Zionist enemy."

Elsewhere, the Fatah group boasts that its men have been able to manufacture a new 12-kilometer range rocket called 107 that was used against IDF tanks and soldiers during the last war in the Gaza Strip.

The El Amoudi Brigade is not the only armed Fatah militia operating in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Another significant group in the Gaza Strip, which also participated in the last war against Israel, is called the Martyr Abdel Qader Hossaini Brigade. Like its sister group, El Amoudi Brigade, the Martyr Abdel Qader Hossaini militia also supports the armed struggle against the "Zionist enemy."

A third major Fatah terror group is called the Abu al-Rish Brigades, which has been responsible for many terrorist attacks against Israel and the kidnapping of foreigners in the Gaza Strip. The gang, which describes itself as the "military wing of Fatah," also refers to Israel as the "Zionist enemy" and claims to have participated alongside Hamas in the last war in the Gaza Strip.

Gunmen from Fatah's Abu al-Rish Brigades, which describes itself as the "military wing of Fatah," appear in a September 2014 propaganda video.

The international community and the media often ignore the fact that Fatah has a number of armed groups that are still openly dedicated to the "armed struggle" and terrorism as a way of "liberating Palestine." They also ignore that "moderate" Fatah leaders who speak in favor of peace and the two-state solution do not distance themselves from these groups. Several Fatah leaders, in fact, often speak in English about the need for reviving the peace process, while in Arabic they praise and endorse the Fatah gunmen.

The presence of armed Fatah gangs in the West Bank and Gaza Strip is a sign of the huge challenges that any Palestinian leader would face if and when the Palestinians and Israel reach a peace agreement. Obviously, these Fatah groups will be the first to reject any peace agreement that includes the slightest concession to Israel. Some of these groups are opposed in principle to peace with Israel because they simply do not recognize Israel's right to exist.

This is something that the international community -- first and foremost the U.S. -- needs to take into consideration when dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Decision-makers need to know that opposition to peace with Israel will come not only from Hamas, but also from many groups within Fatah. As the armed groups themselves indicate, their fight is to eliminate "Zionist enemy" and achieve the "right of return" for millions of descendants of refugees to their former homes inside Israel.

Meanwhile, Abbas and other Fatah leaders, who are fully aware of the actions and threats of their loyalists, are doing their utmost to stop the world from hearing what the Fatah gunmen have to say about peace and the two-state solution. The question remains: Until when will the international community continue to bury its head in the sand and pretend that Fatah is a unified, moderate and pragmatic group that seeks peace and coexistence with Israel on behalf of all Palestinians?
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Khaled Abu Toameh

Source: http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/5785/fatah-militias

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

The US and Gulf States Summit: What Next? - Amos Yadlin , Yoel Guzansky



by Amos Yadlin , Yoel Guzansky

The coming years will likely see a test of relations between the US and the Gulf states. Nonetheless, it is doubtful whether the conciliatory declarations of the recent summit and the sale of advanced weapons will be enough to put the relations back on track and alleviate the monarchies’ anxiety about what they view as the mistaken strategic direction pursued by the US toward Iran. Still, it is possible that the summit contributed to an understanding by the administration that it must devise a policy to roll back Iranian involvement in various fronts in the Middle East. Such a policy, if pursued effectively, will enable the Gulf states to ride out the remaining period of the Obama administration – an administration with which they disagree about most issues concerning the Middle East in general, and the Gulf in particular.

The summit convened last week by US President Barack Obama with representatives of the Gulf states was designed to ease their concerns about the emerging agreement with Iran on the nuclear question, “compensate” them – in part through the supply of weapon systems – for the materialization of threats that will be posed by Iran as a recognized nuclear threshold state, and recruit support for the agreement. These goals were achieved, if only partially and temporarily.
President Barack Obama
with GCC representatives
at the summit in Camp
David, May 14, 2015.
Photo: Nicholas Kamm / AFP
 The unwritten alliance linking the American liberal democracy and the absolute monarchies in the Gulf was based on the principle of action by the monarchies to stabilize the global energy market and support US interests in the region in exchange for protection by the US against external threats – generally while ignoring the inadequate political freedom and human rights in those countries. It was the Carter Doctrine that established the defense framework for relations between the US and the Gulf states. Underlying the policy was the US threat to use force, including military force, should any external power seek to attain hegemony in the Gulf. Since that time, the body of water from the Gulf of Oman through the Strait of Hormuz to Shatt al-Arab has been an “American lake.” In recent years, however, a continued American commitment in the Gulf region has been questioned. Meantime, the source of the gravest threat to the strategic balance in the Gulf is not external, but in the Gulf itself. 
 
The US drive toward an agreement with Iran on the nuclear question, combined with its reduced dependence on oil from the Gulf, has put the relations between the US and the Gulf states to a new test. The royal houses fear the possibility of an Iranian-Western deal that will enable Iran to escape the isolation it has suffered since the nuclear crisis, while at the same time preserve its nuclear capabilities – in other words, a rapprochement between Iran and the West that will give Iran the status of a legitimate state among the nations of the world and enable it to enhance its influence in the Middle East, necessarily at the expense of the Gulf states. A gradual detente between the US and Iran that could develop after the signing of a nuclear treaty would deal a critical blow to the special relations between the Gulf states and the US. Furthermore, the monarchies are worried that if and when the US achieves full energy independence, it will no longer need its Arab allies and will greatly reduce its involvement in the Middle East. The Gulf monarchs also fear an American strategic pivot, in accordance with the administration’s declaration that East Asia heads the American list of priorities. However, it appears that the prevalent fear in the Gulf concerns an American pivot toward Iran.
In a New York Times interview before the summit, Obama said – for the first time – that the internal threats facing the Gulf states were at times more severe than those threats posed by Iran. He thereby lowered the expectations that the monarchs had from the summit, and perhaps also prompted the absence of some leaders from the meeting (only two of the six heads of state attended the summit). The cancellation by Saudi King Salman, which was known before the meeting, might have been due to his frail health, but it is also possible that it was, rather, an expression of dissatisfaction and growing frustration with what is perceived in Riyadh as a mistaken American policy toward Iran. Riyadh believes that Washington is shutting its eyes to Iranian subversion in the region, which inter alia has a direct negative impact on Saudi Arabian national security.
The most threatening scenario for the Arab monarchies is that while the US focus is elsewhere, on East Asia, for example, Iran, with its new status, will strengthen its grip in the Gulf region. In the eyes of the Gulf states, the current US administration is willing to give Iran the “keys” to the region. Recognized as a nuclear threshold state by the agreement being formulated, Iran will find it easier to dictate the political-security agenda both in the region and throughout the Middle East. The possible consequences of any concrete development in this direction will also affect the future of inter-Arab cooperation and the Arab political frameworks. Various countries, certainly some of the vulnerable Gulf states, will likely seek closer relations with Iran, while others will be driven to rely on the US. Indeed, the security options currently available to the Arab monarchies are limited. While their economic future is closely connected to China, the burden of preserving their security still falls on the US. The problems in the relations between the parties, however, as revealed in recent years, are liable to put in motion long term processes with negative consequences for regional stability, as well as for Israel’s strategic interests. On the day after an agreement with Iran, and given the erosion of trust between Saudi Arabia and the US, the kingdom is liable to seek to mitigate risks by forming a parallel – albeit imperfect – set of relationships with other countries in order to improve its security. Of these possible relations, understandings with Pakistan on the nuclear question are a clear possibility.
The Gulf states have no interest in a significant deterioration in their relations with the US, since they will be the first to suffer. During the summit, Gulf representatives therefore expressed public support for the administration’s goals with Iran. In the long term, however, the Gulf leaders can be expected to try to design a new framework of relations with the US that will give those countries a larger degree of independence than they currently enjoy in managing their defense agenda – without full coordination with American interests and goals in the region. Even before any agreement with Iran, several Gulf states have already shown their readiness to take action in defense of their essential interest without the US, and furthermore, against its advice. The current bone of contention is the American effort at achieving a compromise agreement between the warring parties in Yemen, which contravenes Saudi Arabia’s goals in its war against the Houthi rebels and the desire of Saudi Arabia (and Turkey) to increase military involvement in Syria with the aim of overthrowing the Assad regime.
The Gulf states are incapable on their own of creating a strategic balance with Iran, which is also important for their economic prosperity. It is doubtful, however, whether a supply of advanced American arms will create this essential balance. Furthermore, in view of the sale of advanced arms to the Gulf states, the Americans will find it difficult to continue criticizing the absence of political freedom and the ongoing denial of human rights in those countries, out of concern that such criticism will harm the sales sorely needed by the American economy. Furthermore, if the US is truly interested in strategic cooperation with the Gulf states, it must prove that even if it wants a nuclear agreement with Iran, it is unwilling for such an agreement to give Iran the green light to act as it wishes in the region. However, the administration may find it difficult to present such proof, since Iran will regard it as grounds for halting implementation of the agreement. Iran can use the threat of withdrawing from the agreement as a significant means of pressure. Indeed, in his summary remarks at the end of the summit, Obama stressed that military cooperation with the Gulf states would not be at Iran’s expense.
Israel too faces a related dilemma. It is in Israel’s interest for the US, through its military presence, to continue to generate the necessary strategic balance against Iranian power in the Gulf region. The sale of advanced weapons to the Gulf states, however, is expected to detract from the IDF’s qualitative edge in the region.
The coming years will likely see a test of relations between the US and the Gulf states. These relations have already survived previous crises, particularly the severe crisis created by the events of September 11, 2001. Nonetheless, it is doubtful whether conciliatory declarations and the sale of advanced weapons will be enough to put the relations back on track and alleviate the monarchies’ anxiety about what they view as the mistaken strategic direction pursued by the US toward Iran, Syria, Egypt, and the Palestinian issue. To be sure, Gulf figures at the summit smiled for the cameras and read from the agreed text; they are unlikely to publicly express their dissatisfaction with the administration’s policy, or to speak before both houses of Congress. However, they can be expected to continue acting to attain their respective goals, even if these run counter to American policy.
Expectations of the summit were low, yet even so, it is questionable whether they were achieved. The Gulf states left the summit with only half of their wish list filled. Some of them hoped to receive an official security undertaking from the administration, a type of classic defense pact. What they got, however, was more of the same – declarations of support and advanced weapons, which they still regard as not advanced enough. Several of the countries asked for the procurement of F-35 warplanes, but encountered an American refusal. Nevertheless, it would be mistaken to say that there was no point in holding the summit. At work is a process, and the summit is only one stage. It is possible that the summit contributed to an understanding by the administration that it must devise a policy to roll back Iranian involvement in various fronts in the Middle East. Such a policy, if pursued effectively, will enable the Gulf states to ride out the remainder of the Obama administration’s term – an administration with which they disagree about almost every issue in the Middle East in general, and the Gulf in particular. 



Amos Yadlin , Yoel Guzansky

Source: http://www.inss.org.il/index.aspx?id=4538&articleid=9546

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

The Amoral Revolution in Western Values, and its Impact on Israel - Col. Richard Kemp



by Col. Richard Kemp


BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 298
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: To fight for Israel on the international stage is also to fight for the values of democracy, freedom of speech and expression, and civilized social values everywhere. Unfortunately, the morality and values of the West have been transformed and undermined over the past thirty years almost beyond recognition. Judeo-Christian principles of honesty, honor, loyalty, family values, patriotism, religious faith and respect for the state have all been eroded; whereas negative values, such as the acceptance of betrayal, duplicity and deceit, have flourished. The Western media is chiefly culpable in advancing this deleterious values transformation. And this transformation is the basis for the growth of anti-Jewish and anti-Zionist perspectives, and anti-Israel narratives.

What follows is the text of an address delivered by Col. Kemp CBE at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies on May 19, 2015. Kemp was Commander of the British Forces in Afghanistan. He subsequently worked for the Joint Intelligence Committee and the British cabinet national crisis management group. He testified in defense of Israel before the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, and the United Nations Human Rights Council in response to the Goldstone report. This week, he received an honorary doctorate from Bar-Ilan University in recognition of his stalwart defense of Israel.

Col. Kemp’s 40 minute address can be viewed here.

As an officer cadet at Sandhurst in 1977, I studied the wars and campaigns of the Israel-Palestine conflict in great depth, learning lessons in leadership, tactics and strategy from the always victorious operations of the IDF.

Years before that, in my school playground, girls always shopped and boys played war. Normally it was British and Germans or cowboys and Indians. For a time in 1967 it became Israelis and Arabs. After a few weeks, however, it reverted to the usual antagonists because nobody seemed to want to play on the Arab side.

I gather a similar recruitment problem exists today in the playgrounds of England with the Taliban side short of troops.

At 8, I was a little young for the serious study of military science beyond the playground, but later, as a 14-year-old schoolboy, I remember one day during the Yom Kippur War, my form master, a young chap just out of teacher training, came into the classroom with an arm full of newspapers.

He said that normal lessons would stop as there was a ‘real war’ starting and that this was really exciting so we should study it. Every day, we followed the events, wrote stories of our own, and learnt the geography. My father was unamused when all of the articles about the war had been cut out before he could get his hands on his breakfast-time paper. We were quite disappointed when it finished quickly and we had to resume normal lessons.

Why am I telling you all this?

It was all about the good fighting the bad and the good were expected to win. It was very simple even to a 14-year-old.

Even as late as 1973, Israel was still widely seen as the good guys and the Arabs were the bad. Sympathy was with Israel because they were being picked on and bullied. There was little consideration of the ‘legitimacy’ of Israel; it was taken for granted.

In 1967, the capture and occupation of East Jerusalem, which of course we commemorated on Sunday as Jerusalem Day, and of Judea and Samaria were accepted as a legitimate act of self-defense.

This was not true just for those of us still at school and in the fledgling days of a military career. This was the general view of British people, and of many in the West, obviously with plenty of exceptions.

Back then, in the 60s and 70s, young minds were still being shaped by traditional views of good and evil. The Valiant comic, read by most schoolboys, was all about heroic Tommies beating the treacherous Nazis or the fanatical Japanese. War films on the whole told the same stories, and without the graphic violence of today.

We had The Longest Day, The Guns of Navarone and Zulu. The BBC was neutral, and if anything supported the values of the country that paid for it. On the whole, like other UK news services of the day, it sought to convey events from the Middle East and everywhere else free of a political agenda, left or right.

In general, popular culture still reflected the long accepted beliefs and principles of a Christian society. All of this shaped the views of the majority of people.

We live in a very different world today. In 40 years the general opinion of Israelis and their Arab foes has been reversed.

What has changed? Some say the situation is different. But this is not the case. Fundamentally the situation remains the same. Israel’s stance is unchanged from 1948. A desire for the survival of the Jewish national homeland, at peace with its neighbours.

All that has changed about this has been that Israel has made repeated costly concessions, including giving up land, for peace. Concessions which have not been reciprocated by the Palestinians, but instead exploited at the grave expense of Israel. Concessions which have not been acknowledged or remembered by the international community, who, like the Palestinians, simply and uncompromisingly demand more and more and more and more.

Nor have the Arabs fundamentally changed. We have of course peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan. And the growing threats from Iran and from expanding Sunni jihadism may be leading to some temporary and below the radar mutual cooperation from parts of the Arab world.

But the underlying perspective and agenda, especially among the Palestinians, is the same as it was in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. Rejection of Jewish communities in the land of Israel. The destruction of the Jewish State.

Some of the basic dynamics have altered. Before, organized, uniformed and relatively disciplined and conventional Arab armies fought under their national flag. Today the armies have been replaced by terrorist gangsters and black-cloaked jihadists. Conventional war has been replaced by terrorist attacks. Battles fought between tanks and infantry in remote deserts have been replaced by battles fought in densely populated civilian areas and behind the protection of human shields.

In my view if such events as the Gaza conflict last summer were played out in the 1960s and 70s, the support for Israel in the West would have been greater than it was even then. The savage and murderous actions of the Palestinians are far more shocking today.

So I again ask the question, what has changed? And the answer is: The morality and values of the West. They have been transformed almost beyond recognition.

As public opinion in the West in the 60s and 70s was influenced by popular culture, so it is today. Throughout most of the West, certainly in Europe, Judeo-Christian principles, honesty, family values, respect for the state, honour and loyalty have all been eroded, often beyond recognition.

Negative values, such as the acceptance of betrayal, duplicity and deceit, have flourished. Defining values including patriotism and religious faith have been undermined.

We have gone from the heroic Tommies of the Valiant comic to the promotion of the criminal underworld in Grand Theft Auto. From Guns of Navrone to the naked violence of Terminator 3.

The 80s ushered in the insidious campaign of political correctness and moral relativity that has over the last 30 years gripped and taken over so much of our society.

Balanced, level-headed, impartial reporting in our media has been replaced by sensationalism as the purpose of mass media has swung from informing, educating and edifying to making money – and only too often to making the news rather than just reporting it. These negative and destructive values are being promoted constantly in the media.

The values and morality of the average person in the West have changed dramatically since the 70s. The new values often have more in common with Israel’s enemies than with Israel itself.

We all know but rarely have the courage to say, that hypocrisy, duplicity, betrayal and sensationalism are the 4 corner stones of violent radical Islam as so often demonstrated to us on our TV screens by Hamas and the Islamic State.

It is impossible to avoid a connection between the shift in public opinion on Israel and the change in Western morality.

How has the new morality impacted on public opinion and perception?

The shift in the way war is presented has complicated the issue. War is no longer the good guy fighting the bad with the good expected to win. Political correctness encourages individuals to say what they think is seen as acceptable and will not offend the majority, rather than what they actually believe. This perpetuates itself and can lead to wholly unacceptable beliefs being outwardly and widely accepted and becoming the received wisdom. The destruction of defining values mean that people will now accept physical acts that would before have been utterly abhorrent to them.

The media destruction and character assassination of strong, outspoken leaders has led to the rise of the ‘grey man’. Political leaders are often seen as weak and gutless and will not stake their reputations on making bold, uncompromising, principled statements or decisions. Instead they frequently take the safer middle ground.  The population tends to take on the mannerisms of their leaders also becoming ‘grey’.

Sensationalism and the graphic depiction of violence has made the population increasingly immune to the horrors of violent atrocities such as public beheadings, massacre, kidnap, execution, torture and forcing your own people to die as human shields. These acts are now less likely to swing public opinion towards the ‘good guys’.

The glorious fight for a noble cause inspired by Christian values and beliefs and fought with honor and dignity, the like of which has preoccupied generations of British soldiers before me is now, regrettably, a thing of the past.

So many of these extraordinary changes have been influenced and even driven through by a media, especially broadcast media, especially television, that has to a very large extent been taken over and subverted by those with a moral relativism heightened by an abhorrence for the traditional Judeo-Christian values of the West and a desire to promote as superior the values of other cultures in a form of all-pervading post-Colonial guilt.

The target is Western values themselves; most often represented by the United States, the most powerful country in the world. But Israel has increasingly become a proxy for the United States. For three reasons.

Firstly, the US President and the US Government is at present left wing and liberal and thus harder for left-wing liberals to attack. Second, Israel is smaller and more easily bullied and impacted by corrosive media sniping than is a superpower. Third, Israel can be portrayed as a Western colonial outpost in a rightfully Arab world.

These three things are underpinned by a pervasive and increasing anti-Semitism which intensifies the obsession with Israel and its portrayal as a true evil to be attacked at every possible opportunity.

This contrasts with the post-Colonial guilt I mentioned, combined also with a frequent desire to appease violent Islam and promote its cause and values as being superior to our own and certainly to Israel’s.

Any anti-Islam comment or perspective cannot be tolerated, while anti-Jewish, anti-Zionist and anti-Israel perspectives are all acceptable and encouraged.

In turn these double-standards are reinforced by the grey man syndrome, the corrosive political correctness that I mentioned, under which the majority feel obliged to support Israel’s enemies, and oppose Israel, and feel nervous about not doing so.

History has proven time and again that Arab nations cannot defeat Israel on the field of battle, and this will always be the case. That is of course why the Palestinians have chosen to use terrorist methods to attack the civilian population rather than conventional military forces to attack Israel’s army. It is why Hamas fires missiles at Israel and digs attack tunnels.

These measures, like other terrorist attacks against the Israeli population are not designed to damage or defeat Israel because they cannot and their perpetrators know they cannot.

They are designed for two different purposes. The lesser purpose is to demonstrate to their own population and their supporters that they are fighting for them against an existential threat – the last bankrupt recourse of all troubled regimes.

But the far greater purpose is to provoke the inevitable and unavoidable Israeli reaction.  Hamas and the other Palestinian terror groups don’t use human shields in the hope that Israel will refrain from attacking their rocket launchers, weapons dumps, command centers, terrorist bases or tunnel entrances. They use human shields in the hope that Israel will attack and kill their people

They do this for one purpose: to gain the global condemnation of the State of Israel.

Their particular target is the media, which they know will magnify and intensify their message to the world and force national governments, the UN, human rights groups and other international organizations to bring down unbearable pressure onto Israel.

This can only work of course if the media and these global organizations are willing to be subverted by their message. Willing to see them as the victims and Israel as the demons.

Fatah and the Palestinian Authority have a similar strategy. Their violence is of a different nature. Incentivizing terror by paying terrorists and the families of terrorists killed or imprisoned for attacking Israelis. By inciting anti-Israel hatred through speeches, newspapers, broadcast media, school textbooks and school teachers.

Not only does this entrench anti-Israel feeling that will prevent the acceptance of a two-state solution or any form of peace and future cooperation with Israel, but it also has the effect of inciting violence against Israeli troops and Israeli civilians who live in Judea and Samaria, including rioting, stone-throwing, ramming, battering, stabbing and murder.

Again the aim of this is to provoke an unavoidable reaction in order to attract global condemnation of Israel and bring unbearable pressure onto the Jewish State.

The next stage for the Palestinian leadership of course is to exploit anti-Israel pressure through the United Nations, the International Criminal Court, the European Union, the universities, businesses, trade organizations and now even FIFA.

The goal of all this activity is to undermine the Jewish State but the primary strategy is executed through a conspiracy with a compliant and complicit media. It is the media that brings pressure onto government leaders and heads of international organizations, compelling them to act in their weakness and with their values undermined.

Many of course need little persuasion but even here the media provides them with the excuse, the motive and the cover. It was strongly biased media reports alleging Israeli atrocities against Palestinians that either forced or allowed leaders like the US President, the British Foreign Secretary, the French Prime Minister and the UN Secretary General to demand that Israel did more to protect innocent civilians in Gaza during the fighting last summer.

Never mentioning, suggesting or even hinting at what more they can do. Never acknowledging the context for the action. Never condemning Hamas for the actual war crimes of using civilian locations as military facilities, compelling citizens to remain, and failing in their legal duty to evacuate civilians from a military area.

It is the media, the agents of moral relativism, the tools of the Palestinian leadership that are Israel’s enemies in this conflict today. They can win over not just Western leaders but the public who are imbued with the new morality.

The media should of course get at the truth, and they should fearlessly expose wrongdoing and criminality from wherever it comes. While remaining even-handed, Western media should remain mindful of, and to an extent reflect, the values of the society that supports them, funds them and depends upon them.

And of course it is in the changing nature of these values at much of the problem lies as I have explained. It is not the role of the media, especially publicly-funded media, to undermine the values of their society. It is not the role of the media to turn a blind eye to wrong-doing, corruption, law-breaking and immorality of one side, while exaggerating, falsifying, distorting and over-emphasizing allegations of wrong-doing against the other.

But in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict this is, with a few exceptions, exactly what they do. In many cases, the major media organizations have moved from reporting the conflict to being active protagonists.

Josef Stalin once famously asked: ‘How many divisions has the Pope?’ The term ‘press corps’ in relation to Israel has assumed a military meaning that was not previously intended. Like Stalin, we might ask: ‘How many corps has the press?’

The answer is that the effectiveness of the press in the Israeli-Palestine conflict, on the side of Israel’s enemies, is immense, probably immeasurable. When the media distort and mislead, when they turn a blind eye, when they paint a false picture, they must be considered culpable for the consequences.

For the violence that is provoked, especially in this region, when they falsely report massacres, intentional targeting of babies, war crimes. For the anti-Semitism, including violent anti-Semitic attacks, and the terrorism around the world that their false prospectus inspires.

They must share culpability for the consequences that follow when political leaders and human rights groups respond to the pressure that their distorted reporting piles on. For the legitimacy that their reports give to political factions around the world that are opposed to Israel. For encouraging terror tactics, war crimes, crimes against humanity and the use of human shields by blaming Israel for the deaths of civilians, rather than the terror groups who are actually responsible.

I am sure most of you could recount many examples of exactly what I am talking about from your own personal knowledge and experiences in some cases. I will give you just a couple of recent examples from my personal experience.

I had just finished an interview on the conflict in Afghanistan in the studios of a major international broadcaster in London. I left the studio and was accosted in the corridor by the network’s prominent Middle East correspondent, who said ‘I want to speak to you about what you say about Israel’.

I said ‘I wasn’t talking about Israel but about Afghanistan’. He said, ‘No but I want to speak to you about what you do say about Israel’. ‘What is it?’ I asked, expecting the worst. ‘I agree with every word you say,’ he said. ‘Then why don’t you say it?’ ‘Because if I did I’d be fired!’ he responded.

I was in Israel for the duration of the conflict last summer. I was probably in a better position to understand what was happening than any other non-Israeli Western military analyst. Yet despite many offers to British, European and American networks I was not asked to do a single interview with the exception of Fox News in the US.

Why? Because I am a regular contributor of analysis to most of these networks on defence, security, terrorism and intelligence. They portray me as a reliable and trusted commentator. But they know that my perspective on Israel is objective and therefore contradicts their own political agendas. They cannot undermine me and therefore they simply do not give me air time on this issue.

I have been accused of supporting genocide and being an apologist for war crimes.  But in reality I have spent much of my life trying to prevent terrorist violence and attacks against innocent civilians and have often risked my own life to do so. I have been involved in peace-keeping operations and have physically intervened in situations where ethnic cleansing has been threatened.

In social media I have been the subject of sustained assaults by particularly virulent anti-Israel networks that I shall not name as I do not wish to give them the benefit of any publicity. I have had my words willfully distorted and falsified in the social media, even as recently as last night.

In universities I have been the subject of demonstrations that have sought to silence me. Most recently in the University of Sydney last month.

I have been publicly accused of corruption and being in the pay of the Zionist entity. I have been deliberately denied business opportunities. I have been subjected to virulent anti-Semitic hatred and threats. I have been placed on a terrorist death list.

Why is this? It is not because I speak out against the moral bankruptcy, corruption, incitement to terrorism or oppression of the Palestinian Authority; or the murder, brutality and terrorist violence of Hamas, Hizballah or the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. I have spoken out at least as much against Al Qaida, the Taliban, the Iranian regime, the IRGC and many other sponsors of terror and terrorist groups without anything like this level of attempted intimidation.

It is for one reason, and that is because I fail to falsely condemn Israel in circumstances where to even be neutral on the subject is itself a crime in the eyes of so many. It is because I have gone further, and used my military experience and my objective view to explain and defend Israel’s legitimate military actions.

Of course in the eyes of many in this region this is already heinous in and of itself. But it is only heinous in the Western world because of the distortions of the media that amplifies the message and helps mobilize a public that it has persuaded to reject traditional values and adopt a new politically-correct moral relativity.

How do we fight this new form of political warfare where so much of the media is the enemy?

As with all battles we must conduct both defensive and offensive operations. The defense in this case of course revolves around doing what we can to ensure that the truth is made known. Both the truth about Israel’s enemies and how they act; and the truth about Israel and how its forces operate.

This must of course be the truth, I am not suggesting false propaganda. I include in this truth, open admissions when errors and wrong-doing take place, including and especially when innocent people die as a consequence.

This is one of the many things that separate us out from our enemies who so often refuse to tell or report the truth.

The offence in this form of political warfare is in exposing the bias, distortions, and untruth of the media. This is much more difficult but it is vital. As in all forms of war, the best form of defense is attack. Without effective offensive action our defensive work will succeed much less and can never produce decisive results.

Some good and vital work is already being done by a range of groups. But their effects remain limited. This campaign has had much tactical success and needs to continue and if possible to intensify. But so far there has been no real strategic impact. Nothing that has forced major media networks to fundamentally re-think their anti-Israel agenda.

Of course strategic effect requires strategic assets. And by strategic assets I mean the combination of significant funds, concerted and sustained will and large-scale, thoroughly planned and carefully-focused effort. The challenge is of course immense, and as with any battle, there is no guarantee of success.

As for myself I have gone through the transmutation from Infantry officer to fighter in this new form of political warfare.

Much of my fight, as was recognized yesterday in the honour graciously and generously bestowed upon me here at Bar-Ilan University, is a fight for Israel. The warm support, encouragement and friendship of this great seat of learning will help to sustain me and to renew my vigor in this fight for Israel and for freedom that I shall never give up.

But to fight for Israel on the international media stage is also to fight for the values of democracy, freedom of speech and expression, and civilized social values everywhere. All of the principles and virtues that once made Britain great.

Make no mistake. This afternoon I have spoken about Israel’s fight. But the danger that Israel faces and that the media projects extends far beyond Israel, and threatens us all.

We should never forget the words of Pastor Martin Niemoller: “When they came for the Jews I did not speak out – because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me – and there was no-one left to speak for me.”

Israel’s fight is the Western world’s fight. Upon Israel’s survival depends the survival of Western civilization.


Col. Richard Kemp

Source: http://besacenter.org/perspectives-papers/col-richard-kemp-the-amoral-revolution-in-western-values-and-its-impact-on-israel/

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

PM Netanyahu's Statement at the Start of His Meeting with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini - Dr. Aaron Lerner



by Dr. Aaron Lerner

Dr. Aaron Lerner IMRA: So Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu genuflected: "I support the vision of two states for two peoples – a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes the Jewish state, and I look forward to discussing with you how we can advance that vision forth in a practical, secure and responsible way."

Let me translate this statement: "I support two states for two peoples if pigs can fly and I look forward to discussing flying pigs in a practical, secure and responsible way."

The rest of the remarks deals with efforts towards what is typically called "economic peace". ===========================================

PM Netanyahu's Statement at the Start of His Meeting with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini

(Communicated by the Prime minister's Media Adviser)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today (Wednesday. 20 May 2015), met with European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and told her at the start of their meeting:

"This is the first meeting we’ve had since I formed the new government. And I take this opportunity to reiterate Israel's commitment to peace, and my commitment to peace. Over the last few weeks, we’ve taken some concrete tangible steps to benefit the Palestinian population. We’ve taken economic steps, added measures for reconstruction and development and ensuring ongoing humanitarian support. We’ll continue with those practical steps. But at the same time we will continue to work towards peace.

Israel wants peace. I want peace. We want a peace that would end the conflict once and for all. My position has not changed.

I don’t support a one state solution – I don't believe that’s a solution at all. I support the vision of two states for two peoples – a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes the Jewish state, and I look forward to discussing with you how we can advance that vision forth in a practical, secure and responsible way. I know that you share our goal and we see you as a friend who can help advance it.

But if I look around at our region and the world, the most dangerous enemy of peace is Iran. Iran is arming and training Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon, and Hamas terrorists in Gaza. Iran is opening a third terror front against Israel in the Golan and it is pursuing its nuclear program, which I believe poses the greatest threat to the region and to the world.

I’m afraid the Lausanne program will not block Iran's path to the bomb. Iran's emerging deal with the world powers facilitates and legitimizes Iran's continued development of the capabilities of forming nuclear weapons. And by prematurely easing sanctions, the deal will give Iran many billions of dollars with which to fund its aggression and its worldwide terror campaign.

Because of Lausanne, the sanctions are already eroding. In recent weeks, Airbus aircraft have been sold to Iran in direct violation of the sanctions. If pressure is being lifted today, what leverage will remain to ensure that Iran complies tomorrow when there is no pressure when the sanctions are removed? And the answer, the honest answer is: nothing. Nothing will be left to ensure that Iran complies with the deal or that Iran ceases its aggression and its terror.

If we want to know what will happen with Iran as a result of this deal, just look at what happened with North Korea as a result of that deal. Despite the inspections and the despite the commitments, North Korea became a nuclear power. Just this week North Korea announced that it has succeeded in miniaturizing a nuclear weapon. I think the international community is about to make the same mistake with Iran as it did with North Korea. And I’m afraid Lausanne does exactly that.

The peace and security of the region and the world demand that we insist on a better deal. And it’s not too late to do so.


Dr. Aaron Lerner

Source: http://imra.org.il/story.php3?id=67326

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

Carly Fiorina Just May Be the Surprise Dark Horse of 2016 - Carol Brown



by Carol Brown

She is articulate as she speaks on a wide array of topics with impressive mastery, from the economy to national security and everything in between.There is a sense of urgency and passion behind what she has to say. And she says it in a way that is crystal clear.


I’m a Ted Cruz fan. At the same time, I find myself increasingly intrigued by Carly Fiorina.

She speaks like no one else in the field. Perhaps, in part, because she’s not a politician.

At the outset of many of her speeches, she tells a personal storyabout being a little girl in Sunday school when her mother said: “What you are, is God’s gift to you. What you make of yourself, is your gift to God.”

After that, she often shares the following:
I started my career as a secretary in a little nine person real estate firm. And ultimately I would become the Chief Executive Officer of the largest technology company in the world and run for president of the United States. That’s only possible in the United States of America…because our founders knew what my mother taught me. Our founders knew that everyone has God given gifts. Our founders built a nation on the visionary, and at the time radical idea, that every life has potential. And that everyone has the right -- the right -- to fulfill their potential. That is what our founders meant when they talked about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And they believed that right to fulfill our potential came from God and should not be taken away by man or government.
In just a few short minutes, Fiorina manages to interweave personal stories with core values that include faith in God, limitless human potential, and the greatness of America.

Her speeches don’t sound like they have built-in applause lines. She simply speaks. If people clap, that’s fine. She doesn’t appear to expect it or revel in it.

She is articulate as she speaks on a wide array of topics with impressive mastery, from the economy to national security and everything in between.There is a sense of urgency and passion behind what she has to say. And she says it in a way that is crystal clear.
For the first time in U.S. history we are destroying more businesses than we’re creating. And while we celebrate in the world of technology people like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, the truth is the heroes of the American economy have always been the person who opens up the 9-personreal estate firm, the person who opens up the family-owned autobody shop, the nail salon, the restaurant, the lawn service company. These are the heroes of the America economy because small businesses and family-owned businesses create two-thirds of the new jobs in this country and employ half the people. And so when we crush small and family-owned businesses, we are crushing the potential of this nation.
Fiorina gives concrete examples of how she would put that vision into practice. And she integrates just enough personal stories to make what she has to say, well, personal. And relatable.

She appears unafraid to say what she thinks, to say where she stands, to say what is right, and to say what is wrong. She doesn’t pander.

Fiorina often speaks about leadership, which she defines as a person who is willing to challenge the status quo; a person who refuses “to accept what has been broken simply because it has been that way for a very long time.”When speaking about leadership, she often shares the following reflection:
When I was a secretary all those many years ago, I thought a leader was somebody with a big office. Ifyou had the big office, if you had a big parking space, if you had perks, if you had a title, you must be a leader. And then I got a little older and wiser and I learned that there were people with big offices and big titles who had not led a day in their lives. We have one of those in the Oval Office right now.
The idea of leadership is also featured on hHer website, which at this point is extremely bare bonesin appearance. The main page reads: “New Possibilities. Real Leadership. Carly.” If you click “join us” you come to a page that features another sentence that singles out leadership as central to the vision of her campaign. 

Fiorina is facing an uphill battle on several fronts, including her tenure at Hewlett-Packard. Or more precisely, the end of her tenure. And while she has a multitude of facts at her fingertips about positive changes that occurred under her leadership at the company, what the media will hound her about and what many people may remember is the fact that she was fired, which is supposed to indicatean ineffective leader.   

Fiorina embodies the idea of a leader in countless ways, including how she tends to stay on point during media interviews, answering questions with confidence, ease,  a hefty dose of gravitas, and a radiant kind of charm.

Part of her charm comes from her personality and how she expresses her ideas. Part of it comes from her ability to unexpectedly turn interactions on a dime. Most recently, during an interview with Seth Meyers (host of a late night TV show), Meyers noted that Fiorina had not registered the domain carlyfiorina.org, that someone else had done so, and that when you go to that site you get a page that bashes Fiorina for the number of people laid off during her tenure at HP. Fiorina was good-natured about it. Then she asked Meyers if he knew who owned sethmeyers.org. He didn’t know. Turns out, Fiorina bought it while waiting to come on stage for her interview.And when you go to sethmeyers.org it redirects to Fiorina’s campaign web site. In fact, lately she’s taken to purchasing various domains that redirect visitors to her site, including chucktodd.org and hillaryclinton.net.

But Fiorina is not only charming and engaging, she is smart. Very smart.

Part of her intelligence includes her quick wit. She is willing to mock herself as when she shared that after getting her undergraduate degree in Medieval History and Philosophy from Stanford University she realized she was “all dressed up with nowhere to go.”

Although…
“…that degree has come in handy recently since our president keeps on talking about the Crusades.”
Listening to her, I get the feeling she writes her own speeches -- that Fiorina knows who she is and what she wants to say about pressing matters of the day as she stands at the podium.

And speaking of podiums, while I realize it’s all the rage among GOP presidential hopefuls to speak without a teleprompter (or even notes), not all candidates should. Cruz is very good at it, but not everyone can pull it off, resulting in speeches that sound offhand and rambling. So at CPAC and other venues, Fiorina often speaks from behind the podium using notes, which does not lessen the impact of what she has to say one bit. (See here, here, here, and here for links to recent speeches.)

But she doesn’t have to use notes. So if you want to watch her speak for well over an hour with nothing more than a few notes scribbled on a couple of pieces of paper set on a stool off to the side of the stage, listen to last year’s speech at James Madison University, here, where she spoke for 40 minutes before even glancing briefly at a note. (The speech is quite different from her stump speech and well worth a listen.)

Or, here, when she spoke at the United IE Conservative Conference with no notes, where she paces the stage in blue jeans and a casual blouse, speaking with amazing passion and ferocity.

Oh, yes. No matter what she’s talking about, Fiorina speaks with intensity, passion, and a laser focus. Whether speaking about crony capitalism, Obamacare, our burdensome and complex tax code, regulations, decades of unaccounted for government growth and ineptitude, or the dreadful way we serve our veterans as being “a stain on our nation’s honor,” it is clear she has a deep and broad grasp of the issues facing this nation, and indeed, the world.

Talking about international politics, she speaks not only about her relationships with world leaders such as Vladimir Putin, King Abdulluh of Jordan, and Bibi Netanyahu (to name a few), but she offers specific, concrete ideas about what the United States should be doing in various parts of the world to combat evil.
Let us rebuild the Sixth Fleet. Let us rebuild the missile defense programs. Let us conduct military exercises in the Baltic States and hasten their entry into NATO. And let us arm the Ukrainians. There is plenty we can do President Obama besides go to war.
After speaking about our lack of support for Arab allies in their fight against ISIS, she had this to say:
If I am in the White House the first two phone calls I will make: Number one, to Bibi Netanyahu. The United States will stand with the state of Israel. And number two, to the supreme leader of Iran. He might not take the phone call, but he would get the message. Until and unless you are willing to open up every single nuclear facility to full and unfettered inspections, we will exact the most crushing financial penalties we can and make it very difficult for you to move money around the financial system. Which we can do.On our own. We don’t need anyone else’s permission. And let’s not confuse ourselves. China and Russia are not sitting on our side of the table in terms of negotiations with Iran.
Fiorina not only has important things to say, but she is able to deliver her message in a way that feels like an unlikely combination of precision practice and spontaneity. That’s an important talent. Giving the same speech over and over again in an effective manner is challenging. How do you keep the words and ideas fresh? How do you maintain your connection to the feeling behind the words when they were first written and read?On some level, giving a speech repetitively requires the ability to re-connect with the words as if anew. Fiorina has said that she likes to campaign. Perhaps this is one of many ways that it shows.

In addition to being a compelling speaker, Fiorina is also impressive in settings where she is the featured guest for a lengthy interview, such as when she was interviewed at the Smart Women, Smart Power conference, sponsored by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. She was asked numerous questions on a range of issues and she answered every single one with amazing directness, clarity, thoughtfulness, and vision. As in other settings, she overflowed with terrific ideas.

There is no doubt Carly Fiorina is a force to be reckoned with. I think she is, by far, the best communicator in the GOP field. And what she has to say has me, and I believe many others, paying attention.

In fact, some are saying she is the “dark horse” in this race, something Megyn Kelly pointed out during an interview with Fiorina earlier this year. At one point,Kelly noted that if Fiorina were to win the GOP nomination she would likely be going up against Hillary Clinton. Kelly then hypothesized Clinton touting the fact that she’s been Secretary of State, First Lady, and a U.S. Senator, while following up with an actual Clinton quote: “I’ve traveled more miles than any Secretary of State.”

Fiorina’s response (which she rolled out at the 2015 Iowa Freedom Summit):
Like Mrs. Clinton, I too have traveled hundreds of thousands of miles around the globe, but unlike her, I’ve actually accomplished something. You see, Mrs. Clinton, flying is not an accomplishment. It is an activity.
Meanwhile, this week, Fiorina garnered a great deal of attention and interest when she spoke at the Iowa Lincoln Day dinner. During her 10-minute speech, she returned to a theme that is one that appears near and dear to her heart: human potential and limitless possibilities. She spoke of her sense of “deep disquiet” among so many she talks to as she has been traveling the country over the past ten years.
…people are disquieted because they fear they are losing something. And I think what people fear we are losing is the sense of limitless possibility that has always defined this nation. We always knew that if something were worth doing, we as a nation would do it. If something were hard to do, even better. We would figure out how to do it. We knew our lives were filled with possibilities because of our God-given gifts and we had faith that our children’s and our grandchildren’s lives would be filled with even greater possibilities. And yet people don’t believe that anymore. And when we lose the sense of limitless possibility that has always defined us as a nation, we lose the core of who we are. The truth is the potential of this nation is being crushed by a government that is so big, so powerful, so costly, and so complex that only the big, the powerful, the wealthy, and the well-connected can handle it.
But for all her strengths, Fiorina has many hurdles to clear, chief among them being fired from HP, being an advisor to a failed presidential run by John McCain, and her unsuccessful run against Barbara Boxer in 2010. These realities suggest a leader who may be ineffectual. Despite all of that, Carly Fiorina has piqued my interest. I’m drawn to what she has to say. And she’s got a level of maturity, life experience, and thoughtfulness that lend weight to her words.

If you would like to learn more about Carly Fiorina, in addition to visiting her web site, her Facebook page, and listening to speeches and interviews, she has written two books. Her most recent book, Rising to the Challenge: My Leadership Journey, came out this month. Prior to that, in 2006, she wrote a memoir titled Tough Choices. And of course, there is always Wikipedia, for what it’s worth.

The last rookie politician that won the presidency first won World War II.  Carly Fiorina is a highly accomplished woman, but she cannot reasonably claimed to have saved civilization from a new dark age. The top of the ticket may be what she is shooting for, but that still has to be reckoned a long shot. But her ability as a woman to criticize the presumptive Democrat nominee, Hillary Clinton, and avoid being castigated as a sexist makes the possibility of appearing somewhere on the 2016 GOP ticket a lot higher than many people realize.


Carol Brown

Source: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2015/05/carly_fiorina_just_may_be_the_surprise_dark_horse_of_2016.html

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