Tag Archives: Arab

No More Tolerance For Radicalized Islam

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Vicki Polin

Over the last few years I’ve been reevaluating my life long views and beliefs as a liberal pacifist.  I can’t help but be reminded of the lessons I learned while taking a series of undergraduate courses on genocide and the holocaust that were taught by Professor Emeritus, Leon Stein; while I attended Roosevelt University (Chicago, IL).

I am not unlike so many who truly believed that as a society, if we learned enough about history we would be able to prevent the ugly horrors from repeating themselves.  This utopian dream could be a reality, if only there were not so many charismatic, murderous cult leaders who use their own power and control over their followers in the very similar way that Adolf Hitler did.

There are so many different types of cults that kill, which includes those who manipulate religion to promote the personal agendas of sociopathic cult leaders.  One such example is that of Jim Jones, who bastardized Christianity when he murdered his congregants at Jonestown with tainted Kool-Aid.

Unfortunately, when individual’s get involved with dangerous cults, they often lose their ability to utilize their own critical thinking.  Cult members are unaware that their minds have been manipulated to the point that they are no longer able to make rational decisions, think for themselves and to recognize the maladaptive influences, motives and or biases their cult leaders may have used to manipulate them.  I personally believe this is exactly what is happening with those who are aligning themselves with such hate groups such as Hezbollah, Hamas, ISIS or any of the other radicalized Islamic group out there.

The psychotherapist in me wants to believe that there is hope for those who became subservient to these murderous cult leaders, who use .  That they stand a chance of being deprogrammed, to learn how to think for themselves without outside influence from their cult leaders.  I want to believe that these followers of contaminated form of Islam are capable of feeling remorse for the horrendous crimes they committed against humanity.

The problem is that as a society we are unable to wait for these followers to get the mental health help they so critically need.  The pacifist side of me wants to believe that with peace talks things can change, yet the reality is there should be NO negotiating with terrorists.  The leaders of these are nothing more then sociopaths.  In the early days of the holocaust no one wanted to believe that Hitler could become as powerful as he became.  By not supporting Israel, we are opening the gates for horror stories like we have never seen before.  I wish the solution was to just put daisies in the ends of assault weapons, yet the reality is that with these radicalized Islamic brainwashed terrorists, the daisies won’t work.

ISIS supporter getting a BABY to kick the severed head of a Syrian soldier

By Tom Wyke for MailOnline

A sickening photo has emerged social media showing a toddler kicking the severed head of a dead soldier in Syria.

The toddler’s father is believed to be an avid Islamic State supporter and is wearing a camouflage military style baseball cap on his head.

The father can be seen smiling with delight in the photo as he watches his innocent child kick the severed head.

WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT

Shocking photo has emerged showing a suspected ISIS supporter encouraging a toddler to kick the severed head of a dead soldier

Leaning over, the bearded man, wearing a short white thoub, appears to be helping his young child to raise their small leg and kick the rotting head of the dead body.

At least one person, wearing three quarter length jeans can be seen watching the horrific scene.

The severed head, which is too gruesome to show in full detail, appears to be several days old.

It appears to be the head of a dead prisoner, although it is hard to distinguish his features due to the heavy decomposition of the face.

The face has also suffered a deep wound, suggesting the victim had been militated with a knife.

The horrific photo comes just hours after ‘Raqqa is being Slaughtered silently’, a Syrian activist group based in the ISIS stronghold posted photos of the latest barbaric execution carried out by IS.

A photo of children crowding around the body of a crucified and beheaded Syrian rebel member has emerged

A photo of children crowding around the body of a crucified and beheaded Syrian rebel member has emerged

The photo shows a crowd of young boys, standing around a wooden gallows. There appears to be at least ten boys in the photo, but few are focused on the gruelsome scene nearby.

At the center of the photo is the body of a Syrian rebel member, who has been crucified and beheaded.

It is believed he was the relative of Zahran Alloush, the renowned leader of Jaysh al-Islam, one of the groups which is part of the Islamic Front and fighting to form their own Islamic State in Syria.

Zahran Alloush shot to fame for surprising reasons in early July when Islamic Front released a video showing the imposing figure of Alloush delivering a rousing speech to denounce Islamic State.

However, it was his notebook which attracted a bigger talking point rather than the words of his speech.

On his desk, a Hello Kitty notebook appears to have been used by Alloush whilst making notes for his speech.

Zahran Alloush (right) shot to fame after delivering a rousing speech to denounce Islamic State with a Hello Kitty notebook on his desk

Zahran Alloush (right) shot to fame after delivering a rousing speech to denounce Islamic State with a Hello Kitty notebook on his desk

The Japanese brand, which celebrated its 40th birthday the other day, is better known to be the trusted diary for teenage girls rather than fearsome rebel leaders, leading many Islamic State supporters to mock Alloush on social media.

It is unknown exactly how closely related the dead prisoner in the photo was to Zahran Alloush. However due to the age of his body, it is likely he was possibly a distant, younger cousin.

The photo shows how he was subjected to a brutal death as his arms are bound to the scaffolds in an outstretched crucifixion pose.

The head has been severed from his body and placed on his lap, with blood still dripping from the open neck wound.

The horrific scene, which appears to have been openly witnessed by children, underlines the brutality of Islamic State.

Their interpretation of Shari’a law has meant that public executions for crimes like ‘cursing God’ and ‘sorcery’ have become a fixture in the city’s public square.

Young boys appear to be openly encouraged to witness these appalling scenes without any consideration by adults.

‘Raqqa is being slaughtered silently’ has developed a reputation for providing a shocking insight into life in Raqqa.

The secret activist group, whose members risk their lives to document the atrocities happening in the IS held city of Raqqa, have previously published other photos of public executions and general oppression.

Several of the groups members have been imprisoned and executed, whilst attempting to document the crimes being carried out by Islamic State militants.

Roger Waters needs some education

By Lior Ben-Ami
MidEastTruth.com
September 23, 2013

In his interview to “Yediot Aharonot“, Israel’s most popular daily, (September 2013) Roger Waters not only proved how ignorant he is about both Israel and apartheid; he also expressed a huge amount of hypocrisy, and also, sadly, anti-Semitism.

The facts are known: in South Africa under apartheid, a small white minority controlled and discriminated against a large black majority, based on racism. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a national, territorial conflict between two peoples, not a racial one. Security measures cause hardship to the Palestinian population but they are just that, security measures. The Israeli security fence (only small part of it is a wall) was only built after daily terror attacks including suicide bombers directed against Israeli civilians, in family restaurants, buses, cafes, shopping centers. The same goes for checkpoints. Remember the days when we could just board a plane, without going through hours of waiting in security lines, having to remove our shoes and belts? The same applies here. It was only after terror attacks that security measures were put into place.

When asked if he assigns any blame for the conflict at all to the Palestinian side, Waters compared the Palestinians to a woman who had been raped – they bear no responsibility whatsoever.

When confronted with the validity of calling Israel an apartheid state, Waters sends the interviewer to the dictionary:

– A policy or system of segregation or discrimination on grounds of race.

But Waters (deliberately?) fails to understand that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not about race. Arab citizens of Israel, whatever their religion (Muslim or Christians), enjoy Israel’s democracy and are equal in every aspect to their Jewish co-citizens. There are Arab members of the Israeli parliament (the Knesset) and Arab Israelis who serve on the Israeli supreme court (an Arab judge was on the Court which sent Israel’s Jewish president Moshe Katzav to prison under rape charges). Arab Israelis represent Israel in sporting and cultural events and take part in every aspect of Israeli society. At the same time, official Palestinian media and schoolbooks call for violence against Jews and describe them as subhumans. While in Israel the extreme right-wing party didn’t get enough votes to get into the Knesset, the Palestinian people voted for Hamas – a violent anti-Semitic fundamentalist organization, declared by the US, EU, Canada and Japan as a terrorist organization.

 

To compare Israel to South Africa’s Apartheid – where black people couldn’t vote, get elected or even sit on the same benches or bathe in the same beaches as white people – one must be completely ignorant about both Israel and South Africa under apartheid.

When asked about the Jewish star on the inflatable pig in his shows, Waters declares that “A Jewish star is a symbol of oppression”, yet insists that he’s not an anti-Semite. Will Waters ever use a Muslim crescent or the symbol of any Muslim organization which murders and persecutes Jews, Christians, women, gays, as an equal-opportunity “symbol of oppression”? Don’t count on it.

“I support the BDS movement. I’m against violence”, says Waters, ignoring the fact that BDS leaders condone violence and oppose negotiations with Israel.

Let’s use Waters’ system and look at the definition of “anti-Semitism”:

– “Hostility toward or discrimination against Jews as a religious, ethnic, or racial group” (Merriam-Webster)

If we look at the Middle East, there is only one country which does not discriminate and persecute people based on their race, religious, sex, sexual preferences. That country is Israel. In Jordan, for example, Jews cannot gain citizenship; in Iran and every other Muslim country, homosexuals are tried and jailed if not hanged; in Saudi Arabia, Jews can’t enter the country and Christian churches are illegal; women are treated as inferior throughout the Muslim world and can’t study, drive, walk the streets by themselves, remove their head/face gear.

According to every parameter of quality of life (freedom, education, health etc.), Israeli Arabs are better off than their brothers, and definitely their sisters, living in any other Arab or Muslim country in the Middle East.

From the Map of Freedom 2013Freedom House

But Waters? He only joined the group that call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against the sole Jewish state in the world. If this is not “hostility toward or discrimination against Jews as a religious, ethnic, or racial group” I don’t know what is. So yes, unfortunately, Roger Waters is an anti-Semite. A vocal one too. And I don’t use this word lightly, far from it. I disagree with many of the Israeli government’s policies and decisions and don’t think that criticism of Israel always or often equals anti-Semitism.

Over 90% of the Palestinians live under Palestinian rule – Fatah or Hamas. They have a flag, an anthem, a president, a government, a parliament, international phone and internet country codes (970, .ps), they participate in the Olympic games and other global sports events and sit at the UN. The people of Tibet or the Kurds, for example, could only dream about such a reality – but that hasn’t stopped hypocritical Waters from performing in China and Turkey.

President Obama and President Abbas in Ramallah

It seems like Roger Waters not only wrote, “We don’t need no education”, he also lives by these words. Thought control he receives from from the BDS movement. His ignorance and hypocrisy about Israel, the Palestinians and the Middle East in large is appalling.
* * *
A history lesson

A short history lesson for Mr. Waters: In November 1947, the UN General Assembly voted to divide Palestine into two nation states: a Jewish state and an Arab state. Back then, the word Palestinians referred to both Jews and Arabs who lived in the land. The division was based on population – A Jewish state with a Jewish majority and an Arab state with an Arab majority.

The Jews accepted the international community’s vote. The Arabs in Palestine and the Arab countries refused the offer. At the time, the leader of the Arabs in Palestine was Haj Amin al-Husseini, a high ranking Nazi who had top level communications with high ranking Nazis like Himmler, Papen, Goebels and met with Adolf Hitler himself. Al-Husseini called Arabs to kill all Jews in Radio Berlin in 1944, planned with the Nazis to poison Tel Aviv’s water system (operation ATLAS) and to build, with the Nazis, a concentration camp for Jews in Palestine. Both Yassir Arafat and today’s president Mahmoud Abbas call the Nazi al-Husseini a “Palestinian hero”.

In May 1948, 7 Arab countries declared a war of annihilation against the 1 day old Jewish state. The Arab leaders vowed to throw all Jews to the sea. Israel survived and prevailed. At the end of Israel’s war of independence, the Gaza Strip was under Egyptian rule and Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) under Jordanian rule. East Jerusalem, including the ancient Jewish quarter, was closed to Jewish worshipers. The planned UN Arab state never came into existence: Egypt and Jordan never thought about giving the Arabs of Gaza and Judea and Samaria independence and the people of Gaza and Judea and Samaria – still self-declared as Arabs – didn’t ask for it nor had any such aspirations.

Only years later, in 1964, the Arabs of Gaza and Judea and Samaria started to call themselves Palestinians and the PLO was created. Its declared goal and founding manifesto? To destroy and “liberate” Israel from the Jews (“to attain the objective of liquidating Israel”.) Yes, that’s 3 years before the 1967 so-called occupation. It is also worth noting that the Palestinians didn’t start an intifada against Egypt or Jordan nor did they ask for an autonomy or a state in Gaza and/or Judea and Samaria. The PLO then was a pan-Arab organization used by the Arab league, who appointed the PLO leaders, to fight Israel.

In 1967, after Egypt, Syria and Jordan promised, once again, to wipe out the Jewish state and throw the Jews to the sea, the Six Day War broke out when Israel preemptively struck to protect herself. Some quotes by Arab leaders at the time:

* PLO founder Ahmed Shuqayri: “Whoever survives will stay in Palestine, but in my opinion, no-one will remain alive.”

* Syrian president Hafez Assad (Bashar Assad’s father): “Strike the enemy’s settlements, turn them into dust, pave the Arab roads with the skulls of Jews.”

* Egyptian government broadcast: “Every one of the hundred million Arabs has been living for the past nineteen years on one hope – to live to see the day Israel is liquidated”

* Egyptian government broadcast: “It is our chance, Arabs, to direct a blow of death and annihilation to Israel and all its presence in our Holy Land. It is a war for which we are waiting and in which we shall triumph.”

* Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser: “We knew that by closing the Gulf of Aqaba it might mean war with Israel. [If war comes] it will be total and the objective will be to destroy Israel.”

Israel had a great victory and in only 6 days roughly tripled its size, taking control over Gaza, the West Bank and the Golan Heights. Right after the war, Israel declared that it was willing to give back the land it took over in exchange to peace and normalization. The Arab reply came in the Khartoum Arab summit, know as the famous “3 ‘No’s of Khartoum”: no peace with Israel, no negotiations with Israel, no recognition of Israel. Pretty straightforward, right?

After the 1967 6 Day War, and for the first time, the newly named Palestinian people declared their demand to take control over Gaza and the West Bank – as well as the rest of Israel. The PLO under Yasser Arafat started horrific terror attacks against Jews – in Israel and around the world, including attacks against schoolchildren (the Avivim school bus massacre, where 9 children were killed; the Ma’alot school massacre, where 25 were killed, including 22 children, and 68 more were injured.), public buses, the Israeli athletic delegation to the Munich 1972 Olympic games and commercial plane hijackings. Again and again, the Palestinians and their leader, Arafat, declared that their goal was to wipe Israel off the map and kill all Jews in it. As Arafat put it in 1980: “Peace for us means the destruction of Israel. We are preparing for an all-out war, a war which will last for generations.”

The PLO was considered to be a terrorist organization by the United States and Israel until the Madrid Conference in 1991. In 1990, the PLO under Yasser Arafat openly supported Saddam Hussein in the Iraqi regime’s invasion of Kuwait, leading to a later rupture in Palestinian-Kuwaiti ties and the expulsion of many Palestinians from Kuwait. Within a single week, some 450,000 Palestinians were expelled in Kuwait, resulting in one of the fastest and largest expulsions in modern history. Most of the Palestinians, who had resided in Kuwait as foreign workers and residents, returned to Jordan. Other Arab countries – from the Saudi Arabia to Egypt and Syria, all part of the US led coalition against Iraq – severed ties with Arafat’s PLO.

Only in 1993, after losing most of the Arab world’s support, the PLO recognized Israel’s right to exist and negotiation between Israel and the PLO started. In 1995, under the Oslo accords, Israel withdrew from Jericho and partly from the Gaza Strip. Unfortunately, every time Israel left an area, terrorism became more deadly. In early 1996, when dovish Shimon Peres was Israel’s prime minister, after Rabin was assassinated by an extremist right-wing Jew, Palestinian terrorism reached a new peak, with bloody suicide attacks against Israeli citizens, in buses and crowded areas. While Israel did everything possible to minimize civilian casualties and target terrorists only, the Palestinian terrorist organizations did everything to kill as many civilians as possible, using ball bearings, nails, screws, bolts, and other objects that served as shrapnel, to maximize the number of casualties in the explosion.
In 2000, Arafat said “no” to Ehud Barak and Bill Clinton’s offer: to get back Gaza, 94% of the West Bank, including control of holy sites in Jerusalem, plus land swaps. It was more than anything the late Yitzhak Rabin – the man Arafat signed the Oslo agreement in 1993 – ever agreed to. Arafat could not bring himself to declare “end of conflict”, turned down the offer to get everything the Palestinian people ever said they wanted and started a bloody second intifada against Israel. He didn’t even give a counter-offer. In his book, Bill Clinton blamed Arafat for preventing peace and Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan said that Arafat’s refusal was a “crime” against the Palestinian people.

During the second intifada there were hundreds of terror attacks against Israelis, including dozens of suicide attacks. Over 1100 Israelis were murdered, the vast majority civilians. Only in 2002, after daily deadly attacks against her civilians, Israel started to build the security fence. The facts are on the ground: the fence stopped a lot of terrorist attacks and saved many human lives. Yes, Palestinians face hardship by the security fence/wall. Yes, it’s ugly. But it saves human lives – both Israelis and Palestinians.

In summer 2005 Israel withdrew entirely from the Gaza Strip, evacuating all settlements, close to 10,000 civilians, every single IDF soldier and even dead people from their graves. The idea was to let the Palestinians have a chance to rule their lives. There were plans to turn Gaza into an oasis with a beautiful marina at the Mediterranean, with luxurious hotels by Hilton, Moevenpick and others. Had this experiment worked, Israelis would be more willing for the IDF to withdraw from more areas in the West Bank. Unfortunately, once again, it was proven that every time Israel leaves an area, it becomes a terror base. Hamas took over Gaza by force, killing, throwing from rooftops and arresting political opponents of Fatah. Hamas occupied Gaza and rocket fire to Israeli towns increased. While Hamas shot rockets from heavily populated areas, including school rooftops and mosques, and used civilians as human shields, hundreds of thousands of Israelis lived in fear, hearing daily sirens and running to shelters. In 2008, then Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, offered Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) an amazing offer: 1967 borders (including some land swaps), all of East Jerusalem and allowing thousands of Palestinian refugees entrance to Israel. Then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice wrote subsequently in her book that she was very surprised by Olmert’s offer, to which Abbas replied, “I can’t tell four million Palestinians that only five thousand of them can go home.” Abbas later denied this quote. Abbas also denied a key quote from his interview to Jackson Diehl in the Washington Post, where he said that even after Olmert’s offer “the gaps were wide.” Both Condoleezza Rice and Jackson Diehl from the Washington Post stand by their words.

Israel can’t and won’t offer more than what Olmert offered to Abbas in 2008. Anything more would be national suicide. Unfortunately, as always since the 30s (the Peel Commission), the Arabs in Palestine turn down every offer to have an independent state. As Hillary Clinton said recently: “I think Israelis have good grounds to be suspicious. And I would never be one who tries to rewrite or dismiss history. The Palestinians could have had a state as old as I am if they had made the right decision in 1947. They could have had a state if they had worked with my husband and then-Prime Minister Barak at Camp David. They could have had a state if they’d worked with Prime Minister Olmert and Foreign Minister Livni. . . . But the fact was it was a 10-month settlement freeze. And he [Netanyahu] was good to his word. And we couldn’t get the Palestinians into the conversation until the tenth month.”

And after all of the above, for Waters, Israel is the rapist and the Palestinians have no responsibility whatsoever.

Israel proved that it is willing to give up territory for a sincere peace. For peace with Egypt, Israel evacuated settlements and gave up the entire Sinai peninsula – 2/3 of Israel’s size at the time – because the late Egyptian president, Anwar Sadat, was a true man of peace. The same happened with Jordan – the late King Hussein was sincere in his wish for peace.

If only a Palestinian leader would be serious and sincere about peace, he would find a real, honest partner in Israel and huge support from the Israeli people. Putting all the blame on Israel alone is both hypocritical and counter-productive.
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Saudi Arabia: Iran or Israel

Analysis: Despite shared interests, there is little chance for normalization in Saudi-Israeli relations

Dr. Yaron Friedman

Abdul Aziz Qassim, a Saudi commentator at the al-Watan newspaper, wrote the following in an editorial last week: “The most sensitive question is being asked: Should the Sunni countries welcome an Israeli attack on Shiite Iran, as Iran remains their No. 1 enemy in the region? Yet we must not ignore our years-long hatred for this bad little country (referring to Israel), and our stance regarding the attitude towards Israel is clear: It is the eternal enemy of the region the same way Iran is the region’s biggest danger.”

 Only Arabs left without nukes

Saudi commentators and reporters have recently expressed their despair over the Iranian-American agreement reached recently, which allegedly gives Iran legitimacy to enrich uranium. The Saudis have a bad feeling that in the near future the Arab world will find itself between two nuclear countries, Iran and Israel, while the Arabs are left without nuclear capabilities.

Saudi Arabia sees itself as the leader of the Arab world, an island of stability and economic power in the Arab world, which has weakened and is bleeding following the damages of the Arab Spring. It is also considered today the leader of the moderate Sunni world, and supports the secular Sunni forces – the Syrian rebel organization, the Free Syrian Army, and the Egyptian army fighting against the Muslim Brotherhood.

 

Saudi Arabia is anxiously monitoring the split within the Sunni forces, like the war between al-Qaeda groups in Syria and the Free Syrian Army and the tensions between Turkey and Egypt over Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood.

 

Shared interests, but… King Abdullah and Netanyahu (Photos: EPA, AP)
Shared interests, but… King Abdullah and Netanyahu (Photos: EPA, AP)

 

Riyadh feels abandoned by Washington. John Kerry and Saudi counterpart Saud al-Faisal (Photo: AP)
Riyadh feels abandoned by Washington. John Kerry and Saudi counterpart Saud al-Faisal (Photo: AP)

 

Saudi leaders are also losing sleep over the success of the Syrian regime’s army, with the help of Hezbollah, in taking over most of western Syria. Iran’s long arms are evident in Syria and Iraq, where a religious war is taking place between Sunnis and Shiites, and these two countries are on the verge of a split between east and west.

 

In Bahrain too the Iranian regime continues to incite the Shiite majority against the Sunni minority rule. The Saudis are now worried that lifting sanctions on Iran in the future will allow it to reinforce its support for Shiite groups in all of these arenas and deepen the Fitna – the religious war between Sunnis and Shiites.

 

Are we missing a historical opportunity?

The interests of Israel and Saudi Arabia in the Middle East have never been so close: They are both concerned over Iran’s nuclearization, they both support General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi‘s war against the Islamists in Egypt, they are both interested in seeing Hezbollah fail in Syria, they both have an interest in weakening al-Qaeda and strengthening the moderate Sunni groups in Syria, and they are both disappointed with the United States’ policy and feel it has abandoned them all alone in the region.

 

Saudi Arabia turned to Israel in 2002 through the Arab League proposal for comprehensive peace in the Middle East, in exchange for its return to the 1967 borders. Israel never officially accepted the proposal, although senior politicians like Ehud Olmert and Shimon Peres have expressed a positive attitude towards it.

 

Recently there have been many reports in the Arab press about secret cooperation between Israel and the Saudi Arabia. But these reports should be read cautiously as they usually appear in newspapers opposing Saudi Arabia. According to those sources, the meetings are being held in European countries. The content of these meetings in regards to the Iranian issue is unclear.

 

Saudi Arabia's policy is anti-Shiite as it is anti-Israeli (Photo: Reuters)
Saudi Arabia’s policy is anti-Shiite as it is anti-Israeli (Photo: Reuters)

 

There is a claim that Saudi and Israeli intelligence officials are meeting in Jordan to coordinate cooperation on the Syrian issue. Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad recently accused Saudi Arabia of cooperating with Israel against the Syrian regime. He said there was an “operations room” in Jordan where US, Saudi and Israeli intelligence officials were allegedly coordinating actions of the Syrian opposition.

 

The US created a serious crisis when it gave up on striking in Syria and reached an agreement with Iran, but it also opens new opportunities, if Saudi and Israeli leaders are wise enough to take advantage of them. Several optimistic Saudi commentators have even raised an interesting assumption that the Americans have no real intention of reconciling with Iran and that the current nuclear agreement for freezing some of the sanctions, which is valid for only six months, is just aimed at guaranteeing that Iran will support the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria.

 

Nonetheless, most Saudi commentators see the American policy as real treason against the kingdom and the Sunni world. One of them did a good job in describing the Saudis’ feelings when he wrote that “the Great Satan (the US in Iran’s eyes) is marrying the axis of evil (Iran in the eyes of the US) and the close friend (Saudi Arabia for the US) has not been invited to the wedding.”

 

The Saudis have warned that US that it’s betting on the wrong horse as the Sunnis are the majority in the Middle East and the Shiites are a minority (20% of Muslims) and because there is more Sunni oil than the oil in the Shiite areas.

 

Iranian President Rohani. 'Smile offensive' initiator in Gulf too (Photo: Reuters)
Iranian President Rohani. ‘Smile offensive’ initiator in Gulf too (Photo: Reuters)

 

Senior Saudi officials have spoken against Iran very similarly to Israel’s leaders: “We won’t sit idle if Iran has a nuclear weapon,” “As far as we are concerned, all options are on the table.” In addition, there has been open criticism about the Iranian propaganda and Saudi journalists have written that Iran has been promising to liberate Palestine for more than 30 years without doing anything, and that its vision is not uniting the Muslims but renewing the great Shiite Safavid Empire of the 16th century by turning into a nuclear country.

 

Second option: Joining winners

Saudi Arabia is facing a very difficult dilemma: If it draws closer to Israel it will betray the Palestinian issue, and if it joins Iran it will betray the Syrian opposition. The Wahhabi ideology, on the foundations of which the kingdom was established, is mainly anti-Shiite as it is anti-Israeli. The barriers of hatred for both countries are almost unbridgeable. The Saudi propaganda and education in the country are filled with the same amount of anti-Israel, anti-Jewish and anti-Shiite content.

 

But there are elementary differences between Saudi-Israeli ties and Saudi-Iranian ties on the religious and diplomatic levels: Jews are not allowed to visit the kingdom, and according to Islam they are banned entry to the area of the holy cities of Mecca and Medina.

 

Millions of Shiites, on the other hand, are permitted to make pilgrimages to the holy places, including many Iranians. In addition, Saudi Arabia’s allies in the Gulf area are pressuring it to move closer to Iran. The Sultanate of Oman is the country which mediated between Iran and the US, Qatar and Kuwait have good relations in Iran, and the relations between the United Arab Emirates and Iran have been warming up recently. Abdullah bin Zayed, the UAE’s foreign minister, even visited Tehran about a week ago.

 

Iranian President Hassan Rohani is now initiating a “smile offensive” in the Gulf area. He sent his foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, on a round of visits to all the Gulf emirates, and the latter expressed his hope to visit Saudi Arabia as well in the near future. The only emirate refusing to draw closer to Iran is Bahrain, which is accusing Tehran of the Shiite protest in the country.

 

Iran is only country which can thwart nuclear agreement. Ashton and Zarif (Photo: AFP)
Iran is only country which can thwart nuclear agreement. Ashton and Zarif (Photo: AFP)

 

Iran has called on Saudi Arabia to turn over a new leaf the relations between the two countries, and has repeated its claim that the development of Iranian nukes is exclusively for civilian purposes and that Saudi Arabia’s fears are baseless. It appears, therefore, that the option of talking to Iran is easier than the almost utopian option of moving closer to Israel. Iranian and Saudi representatives have already sat together in conferences of the Islamic countries and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

 

Despite the claims that the Saudi kingdom is holding secret ties with Israel, as Jordan did with Israel in the 50 years before the countries signed a peace agreement, there is no real proof of that. Iran and Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, have exchanged ambassadors and formally have normal diplomatic relations.

 

Saudi Arabia has expressed its hope in the past that the conflict with Iran would be settled in a diplomatic manner, but has never suggested talking directly to Israel. Therefore, there is a higher probability that Saudi Arabia will favor the Iranian option over the Israeli one. That way it will be able to fall into line with the US and maintain proper relations with the Americans, which the kingdom cannot afford to give up.

 

The expected result of Tehran’s “smile offensive” will be a Saudi-Iranian dialogue which will generate a rare attempt for a Sunni-Shiite rapprochement. If and when such talks are held, there is no doubt that they will focus on the Syrian issue and that there will be an attempt to create a compromise supported by the two countries in the second Geneva convention. Such a dialogue will bring the two extremities of the Muslim world closer and push Israel further away from any attempt to reconcile with the Muslim world.

 

The Iranians will go on insisting on enriching uranium, and on the Iranian streets people will continue chanting proudly, “Death to America.” The only one who can thwart the agreements on freezing the sanctions is Iran itself, as sooner or later the Americans and Europeans will realize that Tehran has no real intention of halting its race towards a nuclear bomb and hegemony in the Middle East.

 

Dr. Yaron Friedman, Ynet’s commentator on the Arab world, is a graduate of the Sorbonne. He teaches Arabic and lectures about Islam at the Technion, at Beit Hagefen and at the Galilee Academic College. His book, “The Nusayri Alawis: An Introduction to the Religion, History and Identity of the Leading Minority in Syria,” was published in 2010 by Brill-Leiden

 

 

 

How Israel Can Stop Losing the Propaganda War

There is a way to fight the good fight for Israel’s rights and point of view. It is not happening.

by Ted Belman

During the UN World Conference in Durban in 2001, large numbers of NGOs organized a parallel NGO Forum which produced what is known as “The NGO Declaration.”

NGO Monitor reported,

“[It] was written in highly politicized language and reflected a concerted effort to undermine Israel. Article 164 states targeted victims of Israel’s brand of apartheid and ethnic cleansing methods have been in particular children, women and refugees. Article 425 announces a policy of complete and total isolation of Israel as an apartheid state…the imposition of mandatory and comprehensive sanctions and embargoes, the full cessation of all links (diplomatic, economic, social, aid, military cooperation and training) between all states and Israel. Furthermore, Article 426 talks of condemnation of those states who are supporting, aiding and abetting the Israeli apartheid state and its perpetration of racist crimes against humanity including ethnic cleansing, acts of genocide.”

As a result, thousands of NGO’s took this resolution to heart and began devoting their efforts to demonize, deligitimate and isolate Israel. The five largest of these have a combined budget of about $1 billion and spend a considerable portion of it effecting the attack on Israel. The NGO’s participating number in the thousands.  They have great influence over the media, the UN, US an EU.  They are financed by George Soros, the EU  and Saudia Arabia, inter alia, all of whom influence their activities and support The NGO Declaration.

If that weren’t enough, the United Nations consistently singles out Israel for attack.

Hillel Neuer, Executive Director of UN Watch, reported:

“Anti-Israel bias pervades the U.N. system. In 2012, its General Assembly adopted 22 resolutions against Israel– compared to four against the rest of the world.

“The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), located in Geneva, has a standing agenda item against Israel. It is the only country specifically targeted at every meeting. Not even major human rights abusers like China, Cuba, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria or Zimbabwe are subjected to such treatment.”

“The UNHRC adopts more resolutions condemning Israel than it does for the rest of the world combined. In its March 2013 session, there were six politicized resolutions against Israel – and only four against all other countries. [..]

“Furthermore, Israel is also the object of more emergency sessions than any other country in the world.”

To this can be added the combined  voices of 57 Islamic countries.

Is it any wonder that Israel is losing the propaganda war?

This relentless attack is compounded by the fact that Israel is not fighting back, not really.

Prof Martin Sherman, the Government’s biggest critic, calls their lack of action, a Dereliction of Duty . In his article “If I were Prime Minister.” he makes this case in the strongest terms and writes that he would, “dramatically increase the budget allocation for diplomatic warfare – for promoting Israel’s case abroad, repudiating the accusations of its adversaries and repulsing assaults on its legitimacy.”

And by “dramatically,” he meant up to $1 billion which he wrote is in the neighbourhood of what is allocated to an individual defense system.

There are thousands of left wing NGO’s, academics and journalist who make the case against Israel in factual terms by distorting the facts and in emotional terms by weeping for the “blameless” Palestinian Arabs. Where is Israel in this debate? She is passive and silent for the most part.

Sure Netanyahu talks about our historical connection to the land but the world thinks this is no excuse for displacing or ill-treating the “Palestinians”. This cut  muster 100 years ago when all states were nation states and the Arabs were not seen as being entitled to another Arab state. Today, the Arabs in Judea and Samaria, and those that fled it during the various wars, are seen as a nation entitled to self-determination just as the Jews were seen as a nation entitled to self-determination a hundred years ago.

But there is one big difference today.  The West is now against nation states such as Israel, and hypocritically makes an exception for the Palestinian Arabs.

Netanyahu rejects negotiations based on ’67 lines with minor swaps and rejects pre-conditions. His objections are too passive and defensive and despite them he enters negotiations anyway. As a result, achieving peace has become synonymous with accepting ’67 lines with swaps. If Israel continues to reject this deal, the Palestinians will get lots of traction for their argument that Israel doesn’t want peace. The world ignores whether such a solution will bring real peace just as they ignore whether the recent Geneva Agreement on a deal with Iran will bring peace.

Making peace has become synonymous with making deals, even bad ones.

Netanyahu has been lauded, except by Obama, for vociferously making the case that the Geneva Agreement is a bad deal, if any deal at all, and will bring war, not peace. He should similarly make the case against a two state solution based on ’67 lines. He should similarly argue it will bring war not peace.

Furthermore, he should be arguing that Judea and Samaria, the “West Bank”, are not Palestinian Arab lands and never have been, and are not occupied. This argument should be made whenever any Government representative or influential person, describes the land as “occupied Palestinian land”. Such a statement should never go unopposed.

The land is not Palestinian Arab land because these lands were promised to the Jewish people by the British government in 1917 (Balfour Declaration) for close settlement and as the Jewish National Home. This promise was made legally binding by the San Remo Resolution of 1919 and this legality was enshrined in the Palestine Mandate whose provisions are binding today. The creation of Israel in 1948, pursuant to the UNGA Partition Plan, on part of these lands, in no way waived the right of the Jews to the rest of the land. Throughout the Mandate period the Jews were referred to as Palestinians and the Arabs as Arabs.

The Anglo-American Convention on Palestine of 1924 — ratified by the US Senate, signed by the President — made USA effectively a signatory to the Mandate, and the Mandate is (like all other ratified US treaties) a part of USA domestic law.

A long-settled practice, known colloquially in international jurisprudence as the Acquired Rights Doctrine, and codified in law in 1969 as an integral part of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, provides (inter alia) that articulated rights & duties within treaties, having themselves no statute of limitations, do NOT, as a matter of course, ‘expire’ with their original incorporating instruments [Art 70 (1)b].

The late Howard Grief, author of the definitive “The Legal Foundation and Borders of Israel under International Law” published in 2008, prepared a petition to the US House of Representatives and US Senate “For the Reaffirmation of Jewish Legal Rights To the Land of Israel and Former Mandated Palestine Previously Assented to by the United States in 1922 and 1924″. This petition should be filed with them in the not too distant future.

To make the case that they are not occupied, Israel must embrace the Levy Report which concluded that the Fourth Geneva Convention (FGC) does not apply to these lands. The claim that they are occupied is based entirely on this convention. That Report was the product of a commission appointed by PM Netyanyahu, to study the matter, headed by Edmund Levy, a retired Israeli Supreme Court Judge and two eminent Israeli international lawyers.  The legal arguments in the report make a very strong case.

The most common claim and the most damaging to Israel’s reputation, made by Israel’s critics, is that the settlements are illegal under international law. This is a lie. For the most part, this lie also goes unchallenged by Israel. It is based on an erroneous interpretation of the FGC and the faulty assumption that the FGC applies to Judea and Samaria. The US recognizes these arguments and does not label the settlements as “illegal” but merely as “illegitimate”.  The US policy is not based on the legal status of the settlements but on their lack of “advisability”, as they put it.  The US wants to keep the land Judenrein so that it can be given to the “Palestinians” whether entitled or not.

The US policy throughout the period of Israel’s existence has been to curry favour with the Arabs.  The US deviated from this policy in two instances.

She voted in favour of UNSC Res. 242, after the ’67 War. This resolution permitted Israel to remain in occupation until she had secure and recognized borders and to retain some of the land. The Arabs totally rejected this resolution at their Khartoum Conference in ‘68 where they decided on a policy of “no recognition, no negotiations and no peace”.  Then, as early as 1970, the US, under Pres Nixon, tabled the Rogers Plan, which called for full withdrawal in line with Arab demands. And that policy remains in force today. Effectively, the US is going against Res 242 which they helped draft and which they voted for.

Pres. George Bush issued a letter to PM Sharon in 2004 to support his disengagement plans from Gaza, and in which he supported Israel’s claim to the settlement blocs, but Pres. Obama rejected the letter as non-binding.

The US is not open to rational arguments against their policy because it is based on one motivation, namely, to give the Arabs what they want. Similarly they are not open to rational arguments regarding the Geneva Agreement because they want to curry favour with the Iranians rather than to fight with them. The same motivation applies to the Europeans.

For the same reason, the European countries and to lesser extent the US accept the lies and propaganda of the left and repeat it as truth, because it serves their purpose.

Israel must be steadfast in asserting the truth and her rights. She must do so at every opportunity

 

So exactly how did Yasser Arafat get so rich?

THE usual suspects are making a fuss since it was discovered after an exhumation that Palestinian terrorist leader Yasser Arafat might have been poisoned with polonium and the finger might be pointed at Israel.

 

 

I have seen acres of breast-beating journalism about the Palestinian misery but never an examination into where all the donated money has gone over the years. For this is certain: Arab donors and a generous non-Arab world have donated many billions to the Palestinian cause.

Take the Gaza strip. It is a bloc of land 25 miles long and six miles wide on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean.

Its northern and eastern borders are Israel, its 11-mile southern border is Egypt and its western border the glittering Med. Over the years since the founding of Israel in 1948 literally billions of pounds have been donated to help its people have a decent life.

If it had been invested shrewdly and well Gaza today could be a mini-Monaco. It could have a deepwater freight port, a flourishing fishing port and a leisure harbour crammed with the yachts of wealthy visitors. It could have resort hotels on the sea and farms, ranches and orchards in the hinterland producing nutritious food.

It has nothing of these. It is a failed state of poverty, misery and violence. So what happened to all that money? Well, a lot went on guns, explosives for bombs and material to build rockets to launch at Israel. But the bulk has certainly suffered the fate of most wealth in that neck of the woods. It has simply been embezzled, not by Israelis but by Palestinians and above all by their leadership cadres.

Gaza, Arafat, Yasser, Palestine, leader, rich, violence, money, SuhaYasser with Suha Arafat who lived a life of luxury at the time of their marriage [GETTY]

Yasser Arafat was the virtually unchallenged Palestinian leader for many years. He never had a visible salary above his modest earnings from the Palestinian government in his West Bank fiefdom.

Yet in his dotage he was strongly rumoured to be worth many hundreds of millions of pounds. His wife Suha lived in luxury in a five-star Paris hotel. As the Americans say: go figure.

It is perfectly feasible that after leading his people to failure and poverty even his colleagues had had enough and slipped him a toxic cocktail.

The donations continue to flow in… and disappear.

Gaza, Arafat, Yasser, Palestine, leader, rich, violence, money, Suha