Thursday, August 28, 2014

Hamas's "Victory"

by Bassam Tawil

What is sad is that the Gazans have not yet been able to free themselves from the yoke of Hamas.
The world seems not to understand that Hamas, like ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood, does not exist in a vacuum. It is one cog in the radical Islamist wheel that threatens the Arab and Muslim world and the major cities of Europe.
The Western world also seems not to understand that it has to incapacitate or totally neutralize the countries funding terrorism, such as Iran, Qatar and Turkey, for whom the Palestinian problem is only a pretext on the way to destroying the Western world as we know it and replacing it with only Islam.

An Arab proverb says, "First he hit me, then, before I could accuse him, he complained" -- meaning, "It all started when he hit me back."

These days, every loyal Palestinian finds it very frustrating to listen to Hamas boast about its great victory against the Jews in Albunyan Almarsus, what the Israelis call Operation Protective Edge, while it complains that the Jews committed war crimes in Gaza.

These complaints recall the pathetic way Arabs boast to convince themselves that they won every war the Israelis defeated them in.

There is nothing more bizarre, though, than Hamas's complaints about the "war crimes" it accuses Israel of committing. According to Article 7 of the Hamas charter, the Hamas movement has a religious and national duty to kill all the Jews in Palestine -- and everyplace else:
"The hour of judgment shall not come not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them, so that the Jews hide behind trees and stones, and each tree and stone will say: 'O Muslim, O servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.'"
The Hamas Charter's Article 7 is taken from a quotation of Muhammad in the Hadith Bukharu Volume 4, Book 52, Number 177:
Narrated Abu Hraira: Allah's Apostle said, "The Hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say, "O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him."
Throughout Hamas's existence, it has striven to carry out this duty, killing and maiming thousands of Israelis along the way.

Before Israel built its security fence, Hamas suicide bombers would go from the West Bank to Israeli territory and blow up hundreds of Israelis in buses, discotheques, hotels, restaurants, and markets.

Hamas's commitment "to fight the Jews and kill them" has also been seen in Operation Protective Edge: Hamas's rockets exclusively targeted Jewish population centers, large and small.

Its truly massive attack against Israel, however, according to Hamas members captured by the IDF and interrogated, was not planned for July, but for the end of September, when, on the eve of the Jewish New Year, hundreds of terrorists wearing IDF uniforms would pour out of its tunnels to kill or kidnap hundreds of Israelis.

Hamas was forced to act earlier, it seems, after the forces of Egypt's President, Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, destroyed Hamas's smuggling tunnels along the Egyptian-Gazan border. Hamas found itself being slowly strangled. Even the most recent payment of $30 million promised by terrorist-funder Qatar never reached the Gaza Strip. Hoping for a way out of its financial straits, Hamas joined the Palestinian Authority [PA] in a national consensus government so that money from Qatar could "legally" be sent to the Gaza Strip from Ramallah. The funds, however, stayed in Ramallah.

Hamas had yet another plan: to win the PA elections, wrest control from Fatah and throw Mahmoud Abbas onto history's garbage heap. The Israeli and PA security forces recently detained 94 Hamas operatives, and seized weapons, ammunition, explosives and large amounts of money. It seems the cardboard false front of the national consensus government was to be used to engineer a Hamas palace takeover in the West Bank, similar to the one in the Gaza Strip in 2007.

Close to the date of the elections, Hamas abducted and murdered three Jewish teenagers, as admitted last week by senior Hamas operative Salah al-Arouri at a Muslim Brotherhood conference in Turkey. Hamas, it appears, had been hoping to use the boys as "Get Out of Jail Free" cards for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons -- all acts that would boost Hamas's popularity in the West Bank and ensure a win in the elections.

The result of the abduction was that the IDF launched Operation Brothers' Keeper, which included destroying Hamas's network in the West Bank, and re-arresting several terrorist operatives who had been released in a prisoner exchange deal for the Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit.

This Operation exerted additional pressure on Hamas, which began bombarding Israel's towns and cities with rockets, and then sent several terrorist squads into Israel through its tunnels, evidently hoping for some kind of showcase attack. Some of the terrorists succeeded in killing IDF soldiers, some of the terrorists were killed, and others succeeded in returning to the Gaza Strip.

Hamas went on to violate over six ceasefire agreements proposed by Israel and one proposed by itself.

Hamas did succeed in scaring Israel to the point where 80,000 reserve soldiers were called up. Hamas even managed to cause foreign airlines to stop flying into Israel's international airport for three days, sending Hamas's leadership into a state of euphoria which led it to ramp up even further its rocket attacks against the Israeli civilian population.

In view of the rocket attacks and the terrorist tunnels, only some of which were known to Israeli intelligence, Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu had no choice but to authorize a military action. He hesitated, and tried for four days to delay a military response. He proposed ceasefire after ceasefire, and told the Palestinians again and again, "Quiet will be met with quiet" -- to no avail. Unfortunately for Gaza's civilian population, the leaders of Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad mistook Netanyahu's remarks as signs of weakness.

The Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad leadership waged their war from deep underground bunkers, beneath high-rise buildings and below Gaza's showcase Al-Shifa Hospital. The leadership left the civilian population above ground and urged them onto the roofs of buildings or to stay home and receive the strikes that were coming toward their weapons stockpiles and rocket launchers. Waging war from five-star hotels in Qatar or bunkers under Gaza's urban landscape, Hamas's leaders positioned these rocket launchers next to hospitals, schools, mosques, UNRWA facilities, residential complexes and even hotels where foreign media personnel were staying.

It was the Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad leaders, not the Israelis, who are the war criminals. It was these Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad leaders who were responsible for the civilian deaths of more than two thousand Gazans, while they safely hid and only claimed that they wanted to be shaheeds [martyrs].

While the Hamas leadership threw the Gazan civilians to their bitter fate, the Israelis used the safe rooms they had built for their civilians and their Iron Dome aerial defense system to keep their own civilians safe. Not relying solely on Iron Dome, the IDF sent infantry units to the front lines inside the Gaza Strip to protect Israel's home front. The Israel Air Force attacked rocket and mortar shell launchers; its ground forces destroyed 32 terrorist tunnels that led from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory.

(Image source: IDF)

Its tunnels into Israel were blown up; the rockets smuggled in from Iran, Syria, Lebanon and Korea were neutralized; thousands of civilians were killed and tens of thousands of Gazan homes were destroyed, and yet the Hamas leadership continues claiming victory.

What is sad is that the Gazans have not managed to free themselves from the yoke of Hamas, and the world seems still not to understand the problems genuinely facing the Palestinians.

Even more important, the world seems not to understand that Hamas, like ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood, does not exist in a vacuum. It is one cog in the radical Islamist wheel which threatens the Arab-Muslim world, and which already has a foothold in the major cities of Europe. Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood are the petri dishes of the political Islamists threatening the world order.
The Yazidis on Iraq's Mt. Sinjar in 2014 are the reincarnation of the Armenians on Musa Dagh in 1915, and they hint at what lies in wait for Europe when Islam becomes powerful enough within European borders.

Radical Islam in Europe and in the world in general is so strong that even recent attempts in England to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization failed. How could any responsible government have allowed that to happen?

The Western world also seems not to understand that it either has to incapacitate or totally neutralize the countries funding Islamic terrorism -- such as Iran, Qatar and Turkey -- despite the United States' financial and security interests. It is irresponsible to keep providing security for, and making Faustian bargains with, countries aggressively working to destroy you.

The recent crucifixions, beheadings and other atrocities committed by radical Islamists in Syria and Iraq may have begun to help people understand that the Palestinian problem is merely a pretext for countries such as Qatar and Turkey, whose agenda is to destroy the Western world as we know it and replace it with only Islam.

Therefore it is most strange that, when the Israeli ambassador to the UN recently defined Qatar as a terrorism-sponsoring state that arms Hamas and that funds the construction of its terrorist tunnels, Mary Harf, spokeswoman for the American State Department, rushed to deny it. Harf claimed that, on the contrary, Qatar was helping to find a just solution for the Palestinian-Israel issue. And U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry even tried to palm off Qatar and Turkey on Israel as mediators in its negotiations with Hamas, although he knew full well that both countries are major supporters of Hamas in its terrorist activities against Israel.

The real causes of the crises, not just their symptoms, need to be identified and dealt with. First, according to international law, there are almost no Palestinian refugees because the status of a refugee cannot be inherited.

There are, however, millions of genuine refugees around the globe whose lives are in danger, who need help immediately, and to whom no one pays the slightest attention. UNRWA, which, in the name of the "Palestinian cause," has done nothing constructive for the Gazans, only perpetuates the problem, colludes in helping Hamas to attack Israel, is totally corrupt, and needs to be disbanded and the funds it receives diverted elsewhere.

The Arab countries, in which the Palestinians live as second-class citizens, need to be acknowledged as the true apartheid countries that they are. They do not even tolerate other kinds of Muslims, let alone Christians, Yazidis or Jews. The international community needs to require them to grant citizenship to the Palestinians who have lived there for generations. If Israel could take in Jewish refugees who came from Arab states -- while also recognizing its Arab minorities as full citizens of Israel -- so can the Arab countries do for their fellow Muslims.

If instead they keep on cultivating Palestinians to wipe out a UN member-nation, then the international community is an accessory to war crimes and deserves to be -- at the very least -- disregarded. If the international community is complicit for reasons of business, oil or to avoid being attacked in their comfy home countries, we can all just go home and forget about such an international community -- totally lacking in honor, made up of nothing but corruption, collusion, and cowardice. If that is so, they are no better than those they try to boss around. They are less than useless; they are dangerous.

Rather than being duped by Hamas yet again and paying it to rebuild its military-terrorist capabilities, the world needs to demand that it be disbanded and an independent agency established to dismantle its terrorist capabilities oversee the rebuilding of the Gaza Strip, free of weapons, as already agreed to in the 1995 Oslo II Agreement. As this provision was already agreed on by all parties, why is it even under discussion?

Senior PLO figures such as Nabil Shaath and Saeb Erekat, the Palestinian delegate to the peace talks with Israel, have repeatedly stated to the Palestinians that as part of an agreement with Israel, all the Palestinian refugees will return to their homes inside the Israel of 1948, a promise that is as misleading as it is inflammatory and false. As are the logos of Fatah, Hamas and the PLO which need to be cleansed of their maps of "Palestine," displacing Israel "from the river to the sea."

The Palestinian Authority's leadership could truly benefit its people by telling them to abandon the dream of wiping Israel off the map and inciting a "third Intifada." It certainly should not be rewarded for continuous bellicosity.

As a Palestinian who wants to see a true and lasting peace finally come to the region, I believe it is the responsibility of the United States and its moderate Arab and Muslim allies to tell the Palestinians to stop stringing their people along with the dream of destroying Israel demographically with "returning refugees," and instead to ensure that the descendants of the original Palestinian refugees, finally, are enfranchised in the countries where they currently live.

Above all, the Americans need to stem the support Hamas and other terror groups receive from Qatar for terrorism. It is beyond crucial to demand that Qatar stop supporting global Islamist terrorism, especially Hamas, and cease the non-stop anti-Israel and anti-Egypt incitement on its mercenary television station, Al-Jazeera. Hamas's knowledge that it is assured of support from Qatar and Turkey allows it to feel secure in violating ceasefire after ceasefire and then making illogical demands at the talks in Cairo.

About a week ago, the Israeli and Palestinian Authority security forces revealed that Hamas was trying to carry out a coup against the PA in the West Bank, just as it did in 2007 in the Gaza Strip, when it threw its political rivals from Fatah off the top floors of the highest buildings there.

The plan to overthrow Fatah in the West Bank was probably integrated into Hamas's grandiose plan to attack Israel next month with rockets and terror squads from the tunnels in Gaza, while at the same time initiating the "third Intifada" for which they have been calling in the West Bank, Jerusalem and among Israeli Arabs inside Israel itself.

Azzam al-Ahmad, the representative of Mahmoud Abbas's national consensus government at the Cairo talks, defends Hamas's refusal to disarm and its attempts to overthrow Mahmoud Abbas -- while Mahmoud Abbas committed himself to establishing a demilitarized Palestinian state. This is how unreliable and hypocritical they are.

The tragedy is that, as in previous wars, the Hamas leadership constantly lies to itself -- and to the Gazans -- when it claims to have won.

Hamas makes the absurd claim that it was "victorious" in Operation Protective Edge and can therefore dictate terms to Israel. In fact, Hamas did not win; Hamas was badly defeated. Maintaining the illusion that Hamas won only allows it resume shelling and threatening Israel -- and it is the Palestinian people who pay the price.

Cato the Elder used to end every speech by saying, "Carthago delenda est": "Carthage must be destroyed." That is the only way there will be peace.

Bassam Tawil is a scholar based in the Middle East.

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

Caroline Glick: Embracing the Obvious Truth

by Caroline Glick


Originally published by the Jerusalem Post

It isn’t hard to understand the truth about Israel and Hamas.

Four-year-old Daniel Tragerman was murdered on Friday afternoon in his home in Kibbutz Nahal Oz by Hamas terrorists.

They shot him with a mortar launched from a school in Gaza’s Zeitoun neighborhood. At the time of the launch, the school was filled with civilians who had fled to the school for shelter.

They fled to the school for shelter because they were forced to vacate their homes.

They were forced to vacate their homes because Hamas terrorists were launching mortars and rockets at Israeli civilian sites, like Daniel Tragerman’s home, from their apartment buildings.

The moral and ideological divide between Israel and Hamas is so self-evident that the only way to ignore it is by embracing and cultivating ignorance.

This week Richard Behar published an in-depth investigative report in Forbes documenting how the US media is doing just that. As Behar demonstrated, the media is collaborating with Hamas in its war against Israel.

Behar cited example after example of how the US media, led by The New York Times have systematically ignored, obfuscated and downplayed Hamas’s war crimes while swallowing whole its bogus statistics and accusations against Israel.

The greatest threat to faux reporters like the New York Times Israel bureau chief Jodi Rudoren and her colleagues are people who refuse to accept their distortions and insist that the truth be told.

The most dangerous of the truth tellers are the non- Jews who stand up for Israel.

This week, former British Labour MP Denis MacShane published an op-ed in Haaretz where he spoke to this point. MacShane argued that for Israel to win the information war being waged against it must cultivate non-Jewish defenders.

In his words, “The British media… is awash with defenders of Hamas and Palestinian resistance. Hardly any are Muslims. In contrast, the prominent journalists – Jonathan Freedland, Daniel Finkelstein, Melanie Phillips, David Aaronovich – who support Israel are, well, Jews.”

MacShane argued that because they are Jews, readers dismiss them.

They “shrug their shoulders and think privately: ‘They would say that, wouldn’t they.”

Israel has an enormous reserve of support among non-Jews. But due to the mainstream media’s commitment to dishonesty and deliberate cultivation of public ignorance and moral blindness in their coverage of Israel, for many, the price of defending Israel is becoming prohibitive.

Israel’s enemies in the West do their best to reinforce this perception.

Consider the case of Jon Voight.

The celebrated Oscar-winning actor is an outspoken champion of Israel. Earlier this month, Voight published an open letter to Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem in Variety where he harshly criticized the Spanish performers for their public statement condemning Israel and siding with Hamas in its war against the Jewish state.

In his words, “I am heartsick that people like Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem could incite anti-Semitism all over the world and are oblivious to the damage they have caused.”

Voight was viciously attacked for speaking out.

Last week, two UCLA professors, Mark LeVine and Gil Hochberg, co-authored an article published in The Huffington Post assaulting him for his views and his temerity to suggest that Israel is a moral, embattled democracy fighting genocidal forces committed to its destruction.

The two Jewish academics are supporters of the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.

The principal aim of the BDS movement is to make it socially unacceptable to support Israel. In 2010 LeVine and Hochberg signed a petition calling for California state universities to divest from companies that do business with Israel.

Online Hollywood commentators, such as Deadline’s Nellie Andreeva, opined that Voight, who was nominated for an Emmy Award for his role in Showtime’s Ray Donovan series, was liable to lose his Emmy bid due to his support for Israel.

Hochberg and LeVine’s assault on Voight was a long-winded voyage into the post-Zionist and anti-Zionist literary moonscape. Their principal criticism of Voight was that he refuses to accept this intellectual wasteland’s rejection of the known facts of history.

Voight is not an academic, nor has he ever claimed to be an expert on Middle Eastern history. He is a non-Jewish American concerned about the future of America.

That is why he stands with Israel. Voight recognizes that when Israel is under assault, and its right to defend itself is denied while terrorists are supported, the US is endangered. And so he feels compelled to speak out, regardless of the price.

In his response to the threats to deny him the Emmy due to his support for Israel Voight told USA Today, “I’m not speaking to get awards. I’m speaking because I’m concerned about my grandchildren and the life they’re going to live, and the country they’re coming in to. I want to protect them.”

Another non-Jewish champion of Israel is former US senator and Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum. Both during his tenure in the Senate and since, Santorum has spoken out strongly against Iran’s nuclear program, insisting that it is a serious threat not only to Israel, but to the US itself.

Like Voight, Santorum recognizes that the fate of the US is directly tied to the fate of Israel.

For his trenchant support for Israel, and his outspoken concern about Iran’s nuclear program, as well as his support for domestic issues where he has not shied away from taking controversial, inconvenient position, Santorum’s critics have demonized him.

But undaunted, he continues to speak out.

Last week, Santorum led a solidarity mission to Israel. The majority of his colleagues were non-Jewish opinion shapers from Iowa, the first state to hold Republican presidential contests. Santorum explained that his goal in coming to Israel was not simply to show Israelis that the American people support us. It was to build support among Republicans in Iowa for a robust US engagement in foreign affairs based on supporting Israel, fighting America’s enemies and preventing the forces of hatred, like Hamas and Iran, from expanding their power.

Santorum’s chief concern is that weary of foreign policy failures, more and more Republicans are embracing the isolationism most identified with Senator Rand Paul. Paul is currently polling well in Iowa.

Over the weekend Paul referred to Hillary Clinton as “a war hawk,” and said, “I think the American public is coming more and more to where I am.”

Santorum is convinced that if Iowans are educated about the nature of the threats emanating from the region, and of Israel’s singular contribution to the cause of freedom and stability, their position can become the basis for a Republican foreign policy that rejects isolationism and embraces US leadership in world affairs as the only way to secure the US and strengthen its embattled allies.

In other words, like Voight, Santorum’s support for Israel is rooted in his concern about America, and its future. Like Voight, Santorum recognizes that the growing penchant among elite opinion shapers to ignore truth in the pursuit of moral relativism and fake sophistication or isolationism constitutes a danger to America.

This week the New York Times descended to yet another low, reporting as fact totally unsubstantiated accusations by the son of a senior Hamas terrorist that Israel tortured him and used him as a human shield during a brief incarceration.

But it appears that the jig may be winding down.

More and more people are following the lead of men like Voight and Santorum, and insisting that the truth be told.

This week more than 190 Hollywood luminaries followed Voight’s courageous lead and signed a public statement condemning Hamas.

Quin Hillyer, a reporter for National Review who accompanied Santorum on his mission, wrote Monday, “My visit to Israel last week confirmed that Iran and its fellow jihadists have good reason to see Israel and the United States in the same light. Israelis and Americans share the same humane, Western values…

“Israel is an oasis in a desert – in the physical, topographical sense but also metaphorically. It’s an oasis of reason, human decency and justice appropriately grounded in mercy.”

MacShane is right. It is vital for more non-Jews, who refuse to deny the truth that screams out to be told, to stand up to the lies and publicly stand with Israel. It is the job of Israel and Jewish communities throughout the world to empower them by among other things, reducing the power of Israel’s enemies to make them pay a price for their decency.

Caroline Glick is the Director of the David Horowitz Freedom Center's Israel Security Project and the Senior Contributing Editor of The Jerusalem Post. For more information on Ms. Glick's work, visit


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

Obama is Seeing ISIS in the Wrong Context

by John M. Ellis

President Obama’s decision-making about ISIS is dominated by the history of US actions in Iraq, especially his own. It’s this context that determines what he will and won’t do. Getting troops out of Iraq was his promise, that promise is now fulfilled, and it must not be undone. But this is myopic: it is vitally important to see these recent events in the context of a situation that is quite different from the one that has faced us ever since 9/11, because in that context we have a golden opportunity, one that we could only dream of until now.

In late 2001, America faced a frustrating situation. An enemy had declared its intent to destroy us, and had struck a devastating first blow. We had the most powerful military in the world and could easily defeat any power on the battlefield, but this enemy didn’t form up as an army on a battlefield. Our wars have been against states, but this was not a state; it was a loose but extensive network of individuals spread across and hidden among the populations of many countries, including our own. The exasperating result was that while we had a powerful force to defend us, for the most part we couldn’t deploy it. We were able to invade Afghanistan to clean out a sanctuary there, but that was all.

Good intelligence might let us take out a few individuals from time to time, even one as important as Osama bin Laden, but no serious engagement on a field of battle seemed possible. If our enemy ever managed to kill tens of thousands of us by using poison gas in the New York subway, all thoughts would turn to a retaliatory counter-strike, but we would probably have no idea how or where to accomplish that.

If we keep our eyes on this wider context, we can see immediately that what is happening now in Iraq is an absolute game-changer. Our deadly enemy, radical Islam, has taken to the battlefield! At last, they are out in the open, fighting a conventional war as an army and a state. This is the opportunity we could only wish for during the last thirteen years. Jihadis from all over the world are pouring into Iraq to join them, leaving the cover of their surrounding civilian populations and forming up as an army. They are fighting on our terms, on the battlefield, where we are supreme. At last, after years of frustration, we have the chance to engage and crush them.

Deciding to do so should be a no-brainer, but Obama hesitates because he is haunted by the idea of “going back into Iraq.” Determined to avoid doing anything that could appear to undermine what he sees as his achievement, or worse yet look like an admission that he had been wrong, Obama lets his boasts shackle him. And yet there is a simple and convincing answer to all of his hesitation: he is seeing these events in the wrong context. This is about the long struggle between modern civilization and a cruel, barbarous force that wants to destroy it, not about George Bush’s Iraq war. It may be true that Obama¹s premature exit from Iraq led to what ISIS is now doing, but that doesn’t matter. All that matters is that a hitherto elusive enemy is suddenly out in the open on the battlefield.

Obama obviously senses that something is wrong with his stance, and so he commits air power to attack ISIS, all the while claiming that this is only for humanitarian reasons, or for protection of the few Americans who are in the area. And yet it’s clear that he hopes his limited moves will stop ISIS without having to admit that this was his real goal. But in so critical a situation we can't afford self-deception. It is in our national interest to destroy this first organized trans-national jihadi army, and that means bringing  all the resources that we have to the task immediately.

This is the opportunity we have always needed, but never had, to use our overwhelming military superiority against the people who will be the perpetrators of future attacks on the scale of or perhaps worse than 9/11.

And for once, most of the world would cheer us on, because the jihadis’ barbarism and cruelty has soured virtually everyone.

Obama doesn’t see the national interest that is obvious in this wider context because he is fixated on his own interest within the smaller context of Iraq. For their part, the jihadis have evidently calculated that it’s safe for them to take to the field, because Obama will never order American troops to take them down. And in this they are probably right. No wonder they think Allah is with them. If Obama understood the uniqueness of this moment, they might soon think otherwise.

John M Ellis is a Professor Emeritus and former Dean of the Graduate Division at the University of California, Santa Cruz.


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

The Un-Islamic Delusion of Smart Diplomacy

by Richard Butrick

During the Falklands conflict of 1982, the cartoonist Berkeley Breathed had a cartoon of Opus the Penguin standing up as bullets whizzed by his head looking bewildered and saying, “Was it something I said?”

Militant Islam is certainly the central challenge not only for U.S. diplomatic policy but for the diplomatic policy of European and Western democracies. Evidently, the smart part of the “smart diplomacy” of the Obama administration’s foreign policy in dealing with militant Islam, boils down to making sure we speak nicely and carry a big guilt complex.

This is manifest in the seemingly innocuous "un-Islamic" meme that is at the center of "smart diplomacy". No matter what calamity or gruesome event takes place on our shores or in the Middle East or Africa, we are to be assured that despite the perpetrators claim to be carrying out the will of Allah, that their actions are un-Islamic. Islam has nothing to do with it. From the massacre at Ft. Hood to Benghazi and now the beheading of James Foley, it is crucial that the U.S. citizenry (us “folks”) be reminded that Islam has nothing to do with it.

In his first speech regarding the beheading of Foley, the president warned us folks that the most important thing to realize about the atrocity is that it has nothing to do with Islam. “Let’s be clear about ISIL,” Obama intoned, “ISIL speaks for no religion.” This despite ISIL claiming that what they are doing is setting up a real Islamic state which follows the precepts of Islam. They are doing their duty in the name of Allah. How could they get it so wrong? If it is just a case of misunderstanding the precepts of their own religion, the president needs to dispatch a team of Islamic scholars from Stanford and Columbia to council Baghdadi, the ISIL leader, who is under the delusion that he is a devout Muslim.

The Foley beheading and the brutal treatment of the Yazidis -- including burying 500 Yazidis alive -- has given Islam a black eye in public opinion and many Muslim leaders are rushing in to join the president and proclaim such behavior to be un-Islamic. This includes the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia who advocates destroying all of Saudi Arabia’s Christian churches. Where have all the proclamations of un-Islamism been regarding the persecution and decimation of Christian communities across the Ummah?  Middle East scholar Raymond Ibrahim calls it the “silent extermination of Iraq’s Christian dogs.” It is only when media coverage stirs outrage that Muslim leaders make solemn protestations of un-Islamism. It is not the acts themselves, it is the bad press coverage that is of concern. And the leader of damage control turns out to be none other President Obama.

It is hard not to conjure up a vision of President Reagan turning to President Obama and saying, almost with a fatherly exasperation, “there you go again.”

But there he does go again.

The incredible naiveté of presuming that Islam‘s faithful warriors and shamans will give up their supremacist mindset and dreams of world domination by stroking their egos or showing great deference and respect for their past accomplishment and stifling all criticism of their holy book is a dangerous delusion. It is about as credible as believing that the march of the Third Reich could be halted by soft-soaping Hitler with praise for the accomplishment of the Aryans and telling him what a superb masterpiece he has created in Mein Kampf

Exonerating Islam from the butchery and atrocities committed in its name will somehow lessen the butchery? Teaching ignorant Westerners of the wonders of Islam will mollify Islamic supremacism? Purging the phrase “Islamic terrorists” from government manuals will banish terrorism in the name of Islam? Inventing phrases like “manmade disasters” for terrorist bombings will bring an end to bombings by Islamic terrorists? The idea that convincing us folks that “Islam has nothing to do with it” by word magic and bowdlerizing Islamic history and holy texts is a key to defusing Islamic animus towards the West, as if something has thereby been accomplished, is a serious delusion. It does nothing in the way of dealing with the real problem: the leaders of the Ummah are able to use Islamic doctrine to convince their minions that jihad against the West by stealth or by the sword is their holy duty and that they will be rewarded in the afterlife.

No, Mr. Obama. It is not something we said. It is something we haven’t said enough. Islamic terrorism -- terrorism in the name of Islam -- is the problem. And as long as the president thinks that reciting the mantra that terrorism is un-Islamic is a crucial component to dealing with Islamic terrorism, the president is one of Islam’s useful idiots.

Richard Butrick


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

18 Rules for Fighting a Gaza War Chelm-Style

by Jack Engelhard

It is a settled matter that the IDF are tops in bravery and ethical warfare. Give them any job, and it’s done. But when politicians run the war, Chelm is likely to happen – Chelm being the town inhabited by those fabled “wise men” loved by tradition for their well-meaning but bumbling ways, like the following rules for conducting combat.


18 Rules For Combat From The Wise Men of Chelm So That Your Enemies Will Die Laughing:

1. Advise your enemies to get ready for a surprise attack. Make sure to remind them where the surprise will take place and precisely what time it is to begin.

2. Shower the place with cautionary leaflets to make sure that every single enemy combatant finds safety. We do not want terrorist barbarians getting hurt.

3. Wait till the coast is clear before striking. Kill as many buildings as you can to prove that you really mean business.

4. Tipping off your enemies when a “surprise” attack is about to come, this alone could kill them as they die laughing at your stupidity.

5. Make sure to remind the world that no other nation is so respectful towards its foes. The world admires you and adores you for this. Look around.

6. Always be ready to give up more Jewish territory. Judea and Samaria, for instance. See how well this worked in Gaza after 10,000 Jews were evicted.

7. As bombs keep falling on your people, keep supplying your enemies with food and water and gas and electricity.  

8. You do not want to inconvenience the people who keep trying to kill you.

9. Tell your citizens who suffer daily from incoming rocket attacks that it’s okay. It’s no big deal. Go home and get used to running to shelters. Stop complaining. Don’t make trouble.

10. Tell your enemies that THIS TIME! you’ve had enough and then beg them for a ceasefire.

11. Talk big. Act small.

12. Prove how wise you are at the bargaining table by agreeing to your enemies’ every demand.

13. Pay no attention to people within your own country who demand that you fight to win. This is so foolish and so old-fashioned. A tie is good enough.

14. Insist that “quiet for quiet” is fine and dandy…even as rockets keep slamming into your country.

15. If a ceasefire is agreed upon (as it was again today) but rockets keep coming in, that’s okay. This is peace in the Land of Israel.

16. Tell the world that Gaza must be demilitarized. You will not stand for anything less. Then go home and forget every part of this.

17. If Israeli residents along the border with Gaza flee by the thousands, truce or no truce, that’s simply too bad. Nothing can be done.

18. Repeat this: In the Land that God gave you but that you handed over to your enemies, War and Peace are the same thing.

Above all, talk big. Act small.

Jack Engelhard writes a regular column for Arutz Sheva. Engelhard wrote the int’l bestseller Indecent Proposal that was translated into more than 22 languages and turned into a Paramount motion picture starring Robert Redford and Demi Moore. New from the novelist, the anti-BDS thriller Compulsive. Website:


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Netanyahu Hails 'Great Diplomatic Blow' To Hamas

by Hezki Ezra, Ari Yashar

Amid wave of criticism over ceasefire deal with terrorist organization, PM defends his unilateral choice in press meeting.

Binyamin Netanyahu
Binyamin Netanyahu
Flash 90
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Wednesday night attempted to respond to the outpouring of criticism for his unilateral decision the night before, in which he sealed a ceasefire deal with the terrorist group Hamas.

"With the establishment of the ceasefire I can say that this is a great military and diplomatic achievement," claimed Netanyahu, accompanied by Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon and IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz.

Netanyahu stated "Hamas has been hit critically and didn't receive any of the demands it set."

Palestinian Authority (PA) officials revealed that in the deal Gaza received an immediate ease of the blockade and an opening of its fishing zone. Discussions on the Hamas demand for a sea and airport, as well as a swap of hundreds of terrorists for the bodies of IDF soldiers Second Lt. Hadar Goldin and First Sgt. Oron Shaul hy''d, are to be held within a month.

The IDF destroyed over 30 terror tunnels that were lethally used against Israel in the operation, although it remains unclear if more yet undiscovered tunnels remain.

Nevertheless, Netanyahu said "when the mission of destroying the tunnels was completed, we pulled the forces back so as to prevent Hamas from killing our soldiers or abducting them - goals they were waiting for. Still we continued to strike from the air and killed around 1,000 terrorists of the enemy - including officials in the command echelon."

"The damage that Hamas absorbed is a blow that it hasn't absorbed in its history - a military and diplomatic blow," commented Netanyahu. "It demanded a seaport, an airport, the release of (Gilad) Shalit prisoners, Qatari and Turkish intermediaries - and didn't get them."

Many have noted that Israeli didn't receive its lone demand in the ceasefire either, namely the disarmament of Gaza, which is to be discussed in negotiations within a month.

When confronted with the fact that he did not topple the Hamas terrorist regime, something he vowed to do while campaigning in 2009 if faced with constant rocket fire, Netanyahu said "even the US didn't topple Al Qaeda. To topple a terror organization is not simple."

Speaking about the road forward in terms of security, Netanyahu said "we will not suffer a drip (of rockets) on any part of the state of Israel, and as we've responded - we will respond even stronger."
Despite Netanyahu's positive spin on the campaign, Gaza Belt leaders slammed the ceasefire as surrender. 

Ashkelon Mayor Itamar Shimoni stated "we did not lose 64 fighters and five civilians, including a four-year-old boy, for this 'achievement'. We did not sit in the shelters and protected spaces for almost two months for this 'achievement'. We did not take a harsh economic blow, in which businesses collapsed, for this 'achievement'. We expected a lot more than this.”

Even Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz (Likud), a close confidante of Netanyahu, told BBC on Wednesday that the operation was "for nothing," and that Israel paid a "heavy price."

Several ministers in the Security Cabinet opposed the deal, but were not given the opportunity to vote on it. Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) on Wednesday voiced his opposition to the ceasefire, saying Israel is in danger as long as Hamas exists.

Former MK Dr. Michael Ben-Ari likewise attacked the deal on Tuesday night. Quoting Netanyahu, who recently said "Hamas is ISIS, ISIS is Hamas," Ben-Ari stated "that means that Netanyahu held negotiations with ISIS."

Hezki Ezra, Ari Yashar


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Iran’s Crackdown on Women

by Majid Rafizadeh


Recently, Majlis (Iranian parliament), which is dominated by hardliners, has voted to ban vasectomies, permanent kinds of contraception, and impose restriction on women’s fertility. In addition, the bill bans advertisements aimed at promoting birth control. Any doctor, or woman, who violates the ban will be punished and prosecuted according to the new Islamist bill.

Since its establishment, the Islamic Republic has significantly exercised “biopower” (a term coined by the historian Michel Foucault) in order to control the population and particularly subjugate women to achieve the regime’s Islamist, religious, ideological, political, and economic objectives. According to Foucault, biopower is defined in The History of Sexuality as “an explosion of numerous and diverse techniques for achieving the subjugations of bodies and the control of populations.”

Under the new Islamist state, the Ayatollahs and ruling clerics utilized methods in order to control and exercise power over women to gradually take away their capacity to act in social affairs particularly by regulating their day to day activities, monitoring all their actions, as well as by having authority over their bodies.

For example, dress codes including (scarves, chador, etc) were imposed on women. Women could not wear what they desired out of the home. Women were encouraged to cover their bodies and dress more conservatively. And those who did not comply were laid off from work, fined, lashed, arrested, imprisoned, and attacked.

In addition, women’s bodies were predominantly defined by the Islamic Republic as a platform for satisfying their spouses. Women were banned from playing several sports.  Instead, being a housewife and submissive was encouraged. The control of women’s bodies and their day-to-day activities were used as a formidable venue to subjugate, dehumanize, and sway women’s capacity in life.

On the other hand, what are the underlying reasons for the new restriction on women’s fertility under the Islamic law of Iran?

The fundamental reasons are political, ideological and religion-driven. The whole process of passing a bill to impose restriction on women’s fertility began by one man’s plan: Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.  The Supreme Leader has the final say as well as the power to delineate general policies for the entire country after consultation with the Nation’s Exigency Council, according to article 110 of the Islamic Republic.

The Supreme Leader decided that he wanted the population of his country to increase from 75 million people to 150 million. Khamenei’s new doctrine was read out to the nationwide conference in the city of Qum, pointing out that “I believe that our country is not a country of 75 million people, our country [could be] a country of 150 million people… and even more… a young image is an essential and important issue for the country, and the countries which have faced aging population have overcome the issue in a difficult way. ”

The message added, “We always wonder how life is going to be if we have four or five children; we should also think that if we have four or five children and if they are able to find jobs they will contribute to the development of the country.”  In addition, the Supreme Leader introduced a 14-point plan to increase the population.

The Iranian regime carried out the same policy in the 1980s, encouraging larger families and more children during the Iran-Iraq war. Iran’s population reached its peak during that time.

On the other hand, the new Islamist bill is aimed at pushing women in the Islamic Republic to be housewives and take traditional roles as mothers rather than participate in public political and social affairs. Currently, large numbers of Iranian women are highly educated and seeking more public functions in the society.

Across the country, billboards that promote less children have been replaced by mottos such as “A single blossom is not spring” and “More children, better lives.” The Supreme Leader states rhetorically that doubling the number of the population will “strengthen national identity” as well as counter “undesirable aspects of Western lifestyles.”

Nevertheless, politically speaking, the population of a country can be regarded as a defining character for the political strength of that government. The new bill will purportedly double the population of Shia Muslims, providing further manpower for the Islamic Republic and strengthening its political influence, national security.  The Iranian regime will be able to have mandatory military service and hire a considerable amount of young people in its army and militia groups such as Basij by offering them incentives such as educational fellowships, loans, etc.  From the Ayatollahs and ruling political figures in the Islamic Republic, this move will ensure their hold on power in the future.

However, many policies have unintended consequences as well.  This restriction on women might have a backlash. It is questionable whether educated Iranian women will accept going back and being confined in homes as mothers and housewives. Secondly, the increase in population might lead to a larger discontent and disaffected population, which would pose greater risks in the future in case protests against the Iranian regime erupt, as they did in 2009. Controlling a larger dissatisfied population poses more challenges.

Majid Rafizadeh, an Iranian-American political scientist and scholar, is president of the International American Council and serves on the board of the Harvard International Review at Harvard University. Rafizadeh is also a senior fellow at the Nonviolence International Organization based in Washington, DC and is a member of the Gulf project at Columbia University. He can be reached at Follow Rafizadeh at @majidrafizadeh.


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Calling ISIS What It Is – Evil

by Mark Tapson


If any Americans remained unconvinced that barbaric evil is at the cold-blooded heart of the terrorist group ISIS, their recent beheading of journalist James Foley made it graphically undeniable. The moral divide between ISIS and us is clearly marked. And yet there are those among us who still cannot bring themselves to use moral terminology to describe the enemy.

Michael J. Boyle for example, an associate professor of political science at La Salle University, contributed an op-ed to the New York Times Saturday on “the moral hazard” of using terms like “evil” and “cancer” to describe the terrorist group ISIS. Sure, he concedes, ISIS has committed thousands of gruesome human rights violations and war crimes, but Boyle wants to put the brakes on the “disturbing return of the moralistic language once used to describe Al Qaeda.”

“Condemning the black-clad, masked militants as purely ‘evil,’” he writes, “is seductive, for it conveys a moral clarity and separates ourselves and our tactics from the enemy and theirs.” How is this a problem? Moral clarity is an ideal state of affairs, especially in a world in which moral boundaries so frequently seem blurred. But Boyle believes that using judgments such as “nihilistic” to describe a group “tends to obscure the group’s strategic aims and preclude further analysis.” In other words, it discourages us from understanding the enemy.

I’m skeptical that Boyle himself understands ISIS’ strategic aims. He insists that ISIS “operates less like a revolutionary terrorist movement that wants to overturn the entire political order in the Middle East than a successful insurgent group that wants a seat at that table.” The notion that Islamic fundamentalists want only a seat at the political table is short-sighted, if not deluded. ISIS and their brethren absolutely want to overturn the political order of the world, not just the Middle East, and replace it with their own. This may seem comically unrealistic to us, but our opinion is irrelevant; all that matters is, ISIS believes it to be not only possible, but inevitable. They are executing their vision in a bloody swath across Iraq, and will continue until someone with the moral clarity and military power to stop them does so.

But this is another issue for Boyle. He is concerned that moralizing about the enemy is a slippery slope toward another Middle Eastern military quagmire:
The Obama administration needs to ensure that the just revulsion over Mr. Foley’s murder and ISIS’ other abuses does not lead us down an unplanned path toward open-ended conflict… The strategic drift produced by this moralistic language is already noticeable, as an air campaign first designed to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe has morphed into an effort to roll back, or even defeat, ISIS.
Isn’t rolling back and defeating ISIS a desirable outcome? In any case, whether we acknowledge it or not, we already are in an open-ended conflict with an enemy – Islamic fundamentalists – who are committed to a forever war. The way to prevent a quagmire is not to be tentative about military force, but to unleash hell and finish the job.

The New York Times wasn’t alone in its moral unease. A similar piece, “Should We Call ISIS ‘Evil,’” appeared on CNN, as National Review Online’s Jonah Goldberg pointed out. James Dawes, director of the Program in Human Rights at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, wagged his finger at Goldberg for tweeting that ISIS is obviously evil, and for the same reason as the Times’ Boyle: such simplistic terminology doesn’t do justice to the “complexities” of the ISIS phenomenon. Dawes too claims that calling someone evil “stops us from thinking”:
If we are to have any hope of preventing the spread of extremist ideologies, we must do more than bomb the believers. We must understand them. We must be willing to continue thinking…

We can say they are evil people doing evil things for evil ends. Or we can do the hard work of understanding the context that made them, so that we can create a context that unmakes them.

Inexplicably, Dawes seems to believe that understanding our enemies and identifying them as evil are mutually exclusive. Then he goes from the inexplicable to the offensive: “There is only one good reason to denounce a group as evil – because you plan to injure them, and calling them evil makes it psychologically easier to do so. ‘Evil’ is the most powerful word we have to prepare ourselves to kill other people comfortably.”

What a crock of academic moral equivalence. The reality is that we call ISIS evil not so Americans can have an expedient justification to go out and “kill other people comfortably,” but because ISIS beheads innocents, buries children alive, sells women into slavery, and massacres thousands. If we can’t objectively describe that as evil, then evil doesn’t exist. Perhaps for Dawes, it doesn’t.

There is no question that understanding the enemy is always vital. No one argues otherwise. But moral judgment is vital too. However, since 9/11 (and even before), the news media, academia, politicians, and even our own military establishment have done their best to deflect understanding and judgment of Islam and to explain away the evil done in its name as everything but Islamic. Islam is peace, they say. Jihad isn’t holy war, it’s inner struggle. Terrorism is blowback for our own oil-grubbing imperialism. The Ft. Hood massacre was workplace violence. Al Qaeda has hijacked and perverted Islam. Hamas are freedom fighters pushing back against Israeli occupation. ISIS is just an insurgent group seeking political legitimacy. And so on.

We will begin to win this forever war when remove these politically correct obstacles to understanding the enemy, and embrace the moral clarity to identify evil and eradicate it.

Mark Tapson, a Hollywood-based writer and screenwriter, is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He focuses on the politics of popular culture.


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