Category Archives: Terrorism

THE END OF PALESTINE

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam

Palestine is many things. A Roman name and a Cold War lie. Mostly it’s a justification for killing Jews.

Palestine was an old Saudi-Soviet scam which invented a fake nationality for the Arab clans who had invaded and colonized Israel. This big lie transformed the leftist and Islamist terrorists run by them into the liberators of an imaginary nation. Suddenly the efforts of the Muslim bloc and the Soviet bloc to destroy the Jewish State became an undertaking of sympathetically murderous underdogs.

But the Palestine lie is past its sell by date.

What we think of as “Palestinian” terrorism was a low-level conflict pursued by the Arab Socialist states in between their invasions of Israel. After several lost wars, the terrorism was all that remained. Egypt, Syria and the USSR threw in the towel on actually destroying Israel with tanks and jets, but funding terrorism was cheap and low-risk. And the rewards were disproportionate to the cost.

For less than the price of a single jet fighter, Islamic terrorists could strike deep inside Israel while isolating the Jewish State internationally with demands for “negotiations” and “statehood.”

After the Cold War ended, Russia was low on cash and the PLO’s Muslim sugar daddies were tired of paying for Arafat’s wife’s shoe collection and his keffiyah dry cleaning bills.

The terror group was on its last legs. “Palestine” was a dying delusion that didn’t have much of a future.

That’s when Bill Clinton and the flailing left-wing Israeli Labor Party which, unlike its British counterpart, had failed to adapt to the new economic boom, decided to rescue Arafat and create ”Palestine”.

The resulting terrorist disaster killed thousands, scarred two generations of Israelis, isolated the country and allowed Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and other major cities to come under fire for the first time since the major wars. No matter how often Israeli concessions were met with Islamic terrorism, nothing seemed able to shake loose the two-state solution monkey on Israel’s back. Destroying Israel, instantaneously or incrementally, had always been a small price to pay for maintaining the international order.

The same economic forces that were transforming the world after the Cold War had salvaged “Palestine”. Arafat had lost his sponsors in Moscow, but his new sugar daddy’s name was “Globalism”.

The Cold War had been the focus of international affairs. What replaced it was the conviction that a new world tied together by international commerce, the internet and international law would be born.

The demands of a clan in Hebron used to be able to hijack the attention of the world because the scope of the clash between Capitalism and Communism could globalize any local conflict. Globalization was just as insistent on taking local conflicts and making them the world’s business through its insistence that every place was connected. The terrorist blowing up an Israeli pizzeria affected stock prices in New York, the expansion prospects of a company in China and the risk of another terrorist attack in Paris. And interconnectedness, from airplane hijacking to plugging into the international’s left alliance of global protest movements, had become the  best weapon of Islamic terrorists.

But now globalization is dying. And its death may just take “Palestine” with it.

A new generation of leaders is rising who are actively hostile to globalization. Trump and Brexit were the most vocal rebukes to transnationalism. But polls suggest that they will not be the only ones. The US and the UK, once the vanguards of the international order, now have governments that are competitively seeking national advantages rather than relying on the ordered rules of the transnational safety net.

These governments will not just toss aside their commitment to a Palestinian state. Not when the Saudis, Qataris and countless other rich and powerful Muslim countries bring it up at every session.

But they will be less committed to it.

45% of Americans support the creation of a PLO state. 42% are opposed. That’s a near split. These historical numbers have to be viewed within the context of the larger changes sweeping the country.

The transnationalists actively believed that it was their job to solve the problems of other countries. Nationalists are concerned with how the problems of other countries directly impinge on them without resorting to the mystical interconnectedness of everything, from climate change to global justice, that is at the core of the transnational worldview.

More intense competition by Western nations may make it easier for Islamic agendas to gain influence through the old game of divide and conquer. Nations facing terrorism will still find that the economic influence of Islamic oil power will rally the Western trading partners of Islam against them.

But without the transnational order, such efforts will often amount to little more than lip service.

Nationalist governments will find Israel’s struggle against the Islamic invaders inconvenient because it threatens their business interests, but they will also be less willing to rubber stamp the terror agenda the way that transnationalist governments were willing to do. The elimination of the transnational safety net will also cause nationalist governments to look harder at consequences and results.

Endlessly pouring fortunes into a Palestinian state that will never exist just to keep Muslim oil tyrants happy is not unimaginable behavior even for a nationalist government. Japan has been doing just that.

But it will be a less popular approach for countries that don’t suffer from Japan’s energy insecurity.

Transnationalists are ideologically incapable of viewing a problem as unsolvable. Their faith in human progress through international law made it impossible for them to give up on the two-state solution.

Nationalist governments have a colder and harder view of human nature. They will not endlessly pour efforts and resources into a diplomatic black hole. They will eventually take “No” for an answer.

This won’t mean instantaneous smooth sailing for Israel. It will however mean that the exit is there.

For two decades, pledging allegiance to the two-state solution and its intent to create a deadly Islamic terror state inside Israel has been the price demanded of the Jewish State for its participation in the international community. That price will not immediately vanish. But it will become easier to negotiate.

The real change will be on the “Palestinian” side where a terrorist kleptoracy feeds off human misery in its mansions downwind of Ramallah. That terror state, conceived insincerely by the enemies of the West during the Cold War and sincerely brought into being by Western transnationalists after the Cold War ended, is a creature of that transnational order.

The “Palestinian Authority”, a shell company of the PLO which is a shell company of the Fatah terrorists, has no economy worth speaking of. It has foreign aid. Its diplomatic achievements are achieved for it by the transnational network of foreign diplomats, the UN, the media and assorted international NGOs. During the last round of “negotiations”, Secretary of State John Kerry even attempted to do the negotiating on behalf of the Palestinian Authority in the talks with Israel.

Take away the transnational order and the Palestinian Authority will need a new sugar daddy. The Saudis are better at promising money than actually delivering it. Russia may decide to take on the job. But it isn’t about to put in the money and resources that the PA has grown used to receiving from us.

Without significant American support, the Palestinian Authority will perish. And the farce will end.

It won’t happen overnight. But Israel now has the ability to make it happen if it is willing to take the risk of transforming a corrosive status quo into a conflict that will be more explosive in the short term, but more manageable in the long term.

Prime Minister Netanyahu, in stark contrast to rivals on the left like Peres and on the right like Sharon, is not a gambler. The peace process was a big gamble. As was the withdrawal from Lebanon and the expulsion from Gaza. These gambles failed and left behind scars and enduring crises.

Unlike the prime ministers before and after him, Netanyahu has made no big moves. Instead he serves as a sensible steward of a rising economy and a growing nation. He has stayed in office for so long because Israelis know that he won’t do anything crazy. That sensible stewardship, which infuriated Obama who accused him of refusing to take risks, has made him one of the longest serving leaders in Israeli history.

Netanyahu is also a former commando who participated in the rescue of a hijacked airplane. He doesn’t believe in taking foolish risks until he has his shot all lined up. But the time is coming when not taking a risk will be a bigger risk than taking a risk. Eventually he will have to roll the dice.

The new nationalist wave may not hold. The transnational order may return. Or the new wave may prove darker and more unpredictable. It’s even possible that something else may take its place.

The status quo, a weak Islamist-Socialist terror state in Ramallah supported by the United States, a rising Muslim Brotherhood terror state in Gaza backed by Qatar and Turkey, and an Israel using technological brilliance to manage the threat from both, is already unstable. It may collapse in a matter of years.

The PLO has inflicted a great deal of diplomatic damage on Israel and Hamas has terrorized its major cities. Together they form an existential threat that Israel has allowed to grow under the guise of managing it. The next few years may leave Israel with a deadlier and less predictable struggle.

“Palestine” is dying. Israel didn’t kill it. The fall of the transnational order did. The question is what will take its place. As the nationalist wave sweeps the West, Israel has the opportunity to reclaim its nation.

Extremely vetted Syria refugee had unvetted contacts with Islamic State

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The liberal media like to say over and over that refugees from the Middle East are already subject to extreme vetting.  The most extreme!  The bureaucratic equivalent of waterboarding!  Why, they sat down refugees and actually asked them questions!  How much more thorough could they be than that?

Apparently, they missed something, because they let in at least one ISIS operative.

Federal agents are reinvestigating the backgrounds of dozens of Syrian refugees already in the United States after discovering a lapse in vetting that allowed some who had potentially negative information in their files to enter the country, two U.S. law enforcement officials said.

Do you appreciate the minimalist way this was written?  There’s nothing to worry about – merely “potentially negative information in their files.”  Doesn’t sound very serious, does it?

The refugees whose cases are under review include one who failed a polygraph test when he applied to work at a U.S. military installation overseas and another who may have been in communication with an Islamic State leader, according to the officials

I would say communicating with an Islamic State leader would be very “potentially negative information” in a refugee’s file.  Wouldn’t you?

President Obama ramped up the acceptance of Syrians last year to address the humanitarian crisis in that country, admitting 15,479 Syrian refugees, a 606% increase over the 2,192 admitted in 2015. Since the civil war started, the U.S. has accepted more than 18,000 Syrians seeking asylum, according to the State Department.

The vast majority pose no threat, officials say.

So what’s the problem?  If 60% or 70% or even 80% pose no threat, is there any reason to be concerned about Syrian refugees?

The 21-step screening process for Syrian refugees is among the most rigorous for anyone seeking to enter the United States.

The most rigorous!

Typically, the refugees are first screened by the United Nations and then referred to the State Department and other countries for potential resettlement.

Good to know we can rely on the U.N.!

As they review the applications, U.S. law enforcement and intelligence officials check the names and identities against databases.

What databases? When someone comes from a regime with no central government, what database is there to check against?  What do they do, a keyword search for ISIS on LinkedIn?

The vetting gap stemmed from a technological issue that for a period of time limited how agents searched CIA databases during the background check process, the officials said. As U.S. intelligence agents cross-checked refugees’ names and biographical information against CIA databases, the computer systems were not initially set up to automatically inspect data contained in “attachments” to the records, the officials said.

I have complete confidence in extreme vetting, don’t you?

Refugee applications have been rescreened before. In 2011, the files of more than 58,000 Iraqi refugees already living in the U.S. were vetted after the FBI learned that an Iraqi man living in Kentucky had participated in roadside bomb attacks in Iraq before he was granted asylum. He and another Iraqi refugee were arrested by the FBI and pleaded guilty in 2013 to trying to send explosives and missiles to the group known as Al Qaeda in Iraq.

Did they forget to check their email attachments?

Maybe they’re not doing the right keyword searches.  Or maybe there’s a problem with their spreadsheets.  Or maybe, just maybe, we shouldn’t let an incompetent bureaucracy let any of these people in.  One of the great things Donald Trump is doing is stopping immigration from Syria, on a temporary basis.  It should be made permanent.

Ed Straker is the senior writer at NewsMachete.com.

Question for the.@UN: Since when did the Palestinians become entitled to a state?

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As Newt Gingrich said in 2011, “The Palestinians are an invented people.”

In 1964, the Palestine Liberation Organization was formed to liberate Palestine through armed struggle. But it took years for the notion of a Palestinian people to crystalize.  In 1967, they were not recognized as such, nor were they considered a party to the conflict.  Security Council Resolution 242 passed after the ’67 war, made no mention of them.

The US as a matter of policy, promoted the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people and forced Israel to accept them in peace discussions at the Madrid Conference in 1991.

In 1993, Israel signed along with them the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements  (Oslo I)  and in 1995 the Interim Agreement on the West Bank (Oslo II)  but these Accords made no mention of giving them a state.

Surprisingly, President George W. Bush gave it the first official nod for the first time in his vision speech of 2002. This speech came about in response to enormous pressure from Saudi Arabia which was demanding the creation of such a state. Even so, it was conditioned on the Palestinians fighting terror, not aiding it or abetting it. In fact, there were many other pre-conditions to the creation of the state.  But the US and the world quickly forgot about the preconditions and went forward with the idea that the Palestinians were entitled to a state.

Then in 2004, Bush gave a very important letter of assurances to PM Sharon in order to support his plans for disengagement.

“The United States will do its utmost to prevent any attempt by anyone to impose any other plan. Under the roadmap, Palestinians must undertake an immediate cessation of armed activity and all acts of violence against Israelis anywhere, and all official Palestinian institutions must end incitement against Israel. The Palestinian leadership must act decisively against terror, including sustained, targeted, and effective operations to stop terrorism and dismantle terrorist capabilities and infrastructure. Palestinians must undertake a comprehensive and fundamental political reform that includes a strong parliamentary democracy and an empowered prime minister.

“Second, there will be no security for Israelis or Palestinians until they and all states, in the region and beyond, join together to fight terrorism and dismantle terrorist organizations. The United States reiterates its steadfast commitment to Israel’s security, including secure, defensible borders, and to preserve and strengthen Israel’s capability to deter and defend itself, by itself, against any threat or possible combination of threats.[..]

“As part of a final peace settlement, Israel must have secure and recognized borders, which should emerge from negotiations between the parties in accordance with UNSC Resolutions 242 and 338.”

In this letter, which amounted to a contract, Bush committed the US to prevent any other plan being imposed.  He also committed the US to Israel’s security and reiterated Israel’s right to defensible borders. By affirming Res 242, he was affirming that Israel need not vacate 100% of the land.

Within a couple of months of President Obama’s inauguration in 2009, he repudiated this contract. In response to this and other indicators, I wrote thatObama intended to impose a solution on Israel. I explained on these pages in 2009 that he had to repudiate it because the contract if allowed to stand, committed the US to oppose the imposition of any other plan.

Obama then forced Netanyahu to recognize a Palestinian right to a state in his Bar Ilan Speech in June 2009 in which Netanyahu said:

“In my vision of peace, in this small land of ours, two peoples live freely, side-by-side, in amity and mutual respect. Each will have its own flag, its own national anthem, its own government. Neither will threaten the security or survival of the other.”

He went on to stipulate two demands or preconditions: namely the new state must be demilitarized and must recognize Israel as the State of the Jewish people. This was the first time Netanyahu or his party embraced the two state solution. Obama was satisfied even with all the pre-conditions and stipulations. He got what he wanted. He would ignore the stipulations. And this resolution does just that.

Next, he backed the Arab Peace Initiative, which called for 100% withdrawal, contrary to Res 242, albeit with mutually agreed swaps.

Then he demanded a complete building freeze, even in Jerusalem. Even so he could not get any concessions from either the Arab League or from the PA as compensation. Having no other choice, he backed the PA’s demand that, as the price of the PA entering negotiations, Israel should release over 100 Arab prisoners with blood on their hands. Israel agreed, though no one had any expectations that the PA would compromise. This prisoner release was in effect another freebie for them.

After strenuous efforts to achieve an agreement, Obama backed off but demanded that there be a continued freeze and nothing be done to make untenable the two-state solution.

But he hadn’t given up. By engineering the passage of Security Council Resolution 2334 declaring “the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity” and demanding 100% withdrawal, he, in effect, was getting the Security Council to back his parameters for a peace agreement, namely ’67 lines plus swaps, with a divided Jerusalem.

This, in other words, is a demand by the international community that all lands east of the ’67 lines be free of Jews (judenrein, as the Nazis used to put it).  That would include the Jewish neighborhoods in the eastern part of Jerusalem.  Thus, the lands east of the ’67 lines must be ethnically cleansed of the 900,000 Jews that live there. A majority of which Jews were born there.

The Security Council underlined  “that it will not recognize any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations….”  Thus the Jews were denied the Temple Mount, the Old City, including the Jewish Quarter, the Holy Basin and the Western Wall, otherwise known as the Kotel.

This resolution completely overturned Res 242, which was passed 50 years ago and which was the cornerstone of all subsequent initiatives like the Oslo Accords, the Roadmap and the Bush letter of ’04. Throughout this entire period, all US presidents stressed the need for direct negotiations to settle all disputes. Any concessions that Israel made along the way were conditioned on the basis of direct negotiations to come.

This resolution removed from such negotiations, the ultimate borders, the fate of the settlements, the requirement that the borders be defensible and whether to create a state.

In the Oslo Accords, Israel made major concessions to the Palestine Liberation Organization representing the Arabs by inviting them into the territories and granting them autonomy in Areas A and B as demarcated by the Accords, believing that all Israeli safeguards in the Accords would protect her. Keep in mind that the Accords did not promise the Arabs a state nor did they proscribe settlement activity.

Prior to signing these Accords, Israel insisted that the PLO accept Res 242 as binding. This was important to Israel because it stipulated that Israel need only withdraw to “recognized and secure” borders. This new resolution negates all Israeli safeguards but not the concessions made by Israel. To do so is unconscionable.

On the one hand, the UN continually accuses Israel of violating international law and declares the settlements illegal by international law; yet, on the other hand, it ignores salient facts and binding contracts. The resolution thus violates the international legal order itself. The UN should be governed by law not by caprice.

Another example of invoking a law that doesn’t exist is the clause which cites “the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force”.  Howard Adelmanmakes short shrift of this proposition. There is no such law.

This resolution is built upon the proposition that the settlements are illegal by international law. But what if they aren’t?  The UN holds that the lands in question are subject to the Fourth Geneva Convention, which applies whenever a High Contracting Party (HCP)  i.e., a country which signed the convention, belligerently occupies the land of another HCP. But in this case the lands in question were not the land of a HCP but were unallocated land under the Palestine Mandate.

PM Netanyahu appointed a commission consisting of one retired High Court Judge and two senior lawyers to study the matter. In 2014, it issued the Levy Report, which concluded that the FGC does not apply. But even if it does apply, it doesn’t prevent Jews from voluntarily settling on the lands. And keep in mind that the Palestine Mandate gave Jews the right of close settlement on these lands, which right has never been terminated, nor can it be.

This matter has never been determined by a court of competent jurisdiction and thus the UN has no right to treat it as settled law.

To use the vernacular, Israel is being railroaded into creating a Palestinian state on all the territories captured 50 years ago, contrary to law, the facts, and existing agreements. Everything is twisted to label Israel a violator of law, when in fact it is the UN that is the violator. All this on behalf of an invented people who didn’t exist 50 years ago.