Friday, July 29, 2016

Food Make Muslim A Zionist

Nadiya Al-Noor

How a Muslim Became a Zionist - Nadiya Al-Noor

Like many Muslims, I started out being very anti-Israel. I saw Israel as evil. Everyone I knew hated Israel. It is by accident that I started to learn about Israel. I decided to gain access to the kosher kitchen at my university's Hillel because most kosher food is halal [food permitted for Muslims under Islamic law].

As time went on, I realized that most of what I had learned about Israel was anti-Semitic propaganda. Israel was a country just struggling to keep her people safe. It was not an evil oppressor. I learned that Israel had tried many times to make peace agreements. I learned how the Arab states banded together to try and destroy Israel in 1948. I learned how accommodating and welcoming Israel is to all peoples, including Muslims.

I learned that Jews really do need the State of Israel, and that it has been their land for over 3,000 years. Even the Koran speaks about how the Children of Israel would return to their eternal homeland from all corners of the world. 
The writer is a graduate student at Binghamton University in New York. 
(Times of Israel)

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Europe's Denial

- Jonathan Spyer

The low-level Islamist insurgency taking place in a number of west European countries represents a profound failure of Western European political culture and of the continent's elites. The problem with these elites is not that they are evil or decadent. It is that their worldview is inadequate to grasp the nature of the time in which they are living.

Their response is denial. Ways are found to maintain that the insurgents are not in fact Islamists or jihadis at all. Mohammed Lahouaiyej Bouhlel drives a truck into a crowd of passersby screaming "Allahu Akbar." This is found to have nothing to do with Islam because of his poor record of mosque attendance. It would be comical if it were not so serious. 
The writer is Director of the Rubin Center (formerly the GLORIA Center), IDC Herzliya, Israel, and a fellow at the Middle East Forum. 
(PJ Media)

Is Europe Helpless? - Bret Stephens

The best guide to how Europe can find its way to safety is the country it has spent the best part of the last 50 years lecturing and vilifying: Israel. 

For now, it's the only country in the West that refuses to risk the safety of its citizens on someone else's notion of human rights or altar of peace.

Europeans will no doubt look to Israel for tactical tips in the battle against terrorism - crowd management techniques and so on - but what they really need to learn from the Jewish state is the moral lesson. 

Namely, that identity can be a great preserver of liberty, and that free societies cannot survive through progressive accommodations to barbarians. 
(Wall Street Journal)

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

When is Terrorism not Terrorism?

When is terrorism not terrorism?  If the media is any indication, it's when that terror is directed against Israelis.  This short video makes the issue crystal clear.  

Sunday, July 17, 2016

The US "Crippled" in the MidEast

Still smiling after one year

Can't Have It Both Ways in Iran - Reuel Marc Gerecht & Ray Takeyh

Last summer, as the administration unveiled its nuclear agreement with Iran, Secretary of State John Kerry assured skeptics that the U.S. would sustain essential sanctions that punish Tehran for its aid to terrorists, regional aggression, and human rights abuses. But Washington can either accommodate or confront the clerical regime. It can't do both. And confrontation is made difficult, if not impossible, by the nuclear agreement...

In the year since the nuclear agreement was concluded, Tehran has continued its development of long-range ballistic missiles, a historic signpost of a state with atomic weapons ambitions.

The Gulf is simmering with Iranian intrigue. Tehran is busy fortifying Shia groups in Yemen and exploiting widespread anger against the Sunni princely class. Gulf Arab internal security services are probably not lying when they tell of increasing Iranian covert aid to violent radicals.

Accommodation with the Iranian regime isn't pretty. Morally and strategically, it diminishes, if not cripples, the U.S. in the Muslim world.
Reuel Marc Gerecht is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Ray Takeyh is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.
(Foreign Affairs)

The Fayyad Factor

Salam Fayyad

Why Fayyad Will Fail Again - Jonathan S. Tobin

Once there was a moderate Palestinian leader who pointed the way toward genuine peace with Israel as well as democracy and development for the Palestinians. His name was Salam Fayyad, an American-educated economist who was named prime minister of the Palestinian Authority in 2007.

But Fayyad's promise was unfulfilled. A man without a party, he was powerless to change a Palestinian political culture that revolved around death and hate. Both Fatah and its Hamas rivals despised him, and few Palestinians mourned when he resigned in 2013.
Fayyad is back now with a new plan that would both ease a path to peace with Israel as well as end the logjam between Fatah and Hamas. It's no surprise that the same forces that worked to ensure he would fail as Palestinian PM don't like it. The reason is it's based on a truce with Israel that would end all terrorism.

If Fayyad had any sort of constituency, his proposal might encourage hope for progress toward peace. But his fan base is largely composed of Americans and Europeans. Israelis will continue to stand their ground and wait for the day when someone like Fayyad will speak for more than just himself.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Egypt & Israel Flirt More

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry [L] meets Netanyahu in Jerusalem

Egyptian Foreign Minister Visits Jerusalem

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem. 

Prime Minister Netanyahu said: "Our two nations have been at peace since we concluded our historic peace treaty 37 years ago and the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt and between Israel and Jordan are the cornerstone of stability in the region, and are critical assets for our countries. They are also the cornerstones of a broader regional peace and a broader stability that we hope to achieve. To this end I welcome President el-Sisi's recent offer of Egyptian leadership in efforts to advance peace with the Palestinians and a broader peace in our region."

"Today I call again on the Palestinians to follow the greatest example of Egypt and Jorden and join us for direct negotiations."

Egyptian Foreign Minister Shoukry said: "My visit to Israel today...comes in the context of President el-Sisi's vision, which he elaborated on the 17th of May, for the establishment of a just and comprehensive peace between the Israeli and Palestinian people, bringing this long conflict to an end. Such a monumental achievement will have a far reaching and dramatic and positive impact." 
(Prime Minister's Office)

Egyptian Foreign Minister's Visit Marks a New Level of Cooperation
- Zvi Bar'el

The decision to send Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry to Jerusalem shows a new level of ties closer to political normalization.

Egypt has concerns that require it to go public with Israel. The first part of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which Ethiopia is building on the Nile, is expected to be completed next year, and Egypt says it will reduce Egypt's water supply and lower its electricity output by 25-40%. Egypt believes, quite rightly, that Israel has leverage in Ethiopia, and can persuade Ethiopia to coordinate water-sharing with Cairo so Egypt's economy doesn't suffer.

Cairo is also very interested in the renewed ties between Turkey and Israel, which lets Turkey be a major supplier of consumer goods and construction materials to Gaza. Turkey's entrance puts Egypt in an uncomfortable position in which it, with Israel, continues to impose a formal closure on Gaza...

The widening of the Israeli-Egyptian map of political interests, with an economic bonus in the background in the realm of natural gas, is a key development.  

Egyptian Minister's Visit: Encouraging Step - Zvi Mazel

The visit to Israel of Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Hassan Shoukry is an encouraging, significant step. The visit is intended to show the world - and especially the Arab world - that Egypt is reclaiming its leading position in the Middle East. The country is now relatively stable: economic growth in 2015 was 4.2%, and similar numbers are expected for the current year.

Shoukry's visit also testifies to the resurgence of the pragmatic alliance comprised of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the Emirates and Jordan to fight Islamic terrorism and Iranian subversive attempts.
The writer served as Israel's Ambassador to Egypt, Sweden, and Romania.
(Jerusalem Post)

Facebook Hit on Tolerance for Terror

Israeli Group Sues Facebook over Palestinian Violence 

Israeli and American families of victims of Palestinian attacks filed a $1 billion lawsuit against Facebook, claiming the social network is providing a platform for militants to spread incitement and violence, their lawyers said. 

Shurat Hadin, an Israeli legal advocacy group, filed the suit on behalf of the five families in New York federal court, alleging that Facebook is violating U.S. anti-terrorism laws by providing a service to militant groups that assists them in "recruiting, radicalizing, and instructing terrorists, raising funds, creating fear and carrying out attacks."

The lawsuit focuses on the Islamic militant group Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip and which has fought three wars against Israel since the Palestinian group overran the coastal territory in 2007. Hamas, an armed group sworn to Israel's destruction, has been designated a terrorist organization by the United States.

"Facebook can't sit in its stone tower in Palo Alto while blood is being spilled here on the streets of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. It has a social responsibility. It can't serve as a social network for Hamas," said Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, the Israeli lawyer who is representing the families.

The suit comes amid a 10-month outburst of Israeli-Palestinian violence that has seen scores of Palestinian attacks targeting Israeli civilians and troops.
Israel says the violence is being fueled by a Palestinian campaign of incitement on social media...

Facebook had no immediate comment on the lawsuit, saying it had not yet received a copy.

The case is among a handful to argue that U.S. anti-terrorism laws should take precedence over the provisions of the Communications Decency Act, which normally shield online companies for liability for what their users post.

It is not clear whether the lawsuit will succeed. The court may rule that freedom of expression precedes anti-terror laws. Benjamin Wittes, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, said the case "appears to be a more compelling complaint" than other similar suits filed in recent months.

He said the most interesting argument is that beyond saying Facebook served as a conduit for hate speech, it says the service played a role in specific attacks. "This case will be well worth watching," he said.


Thursday, July 07, 2016

Arab Spring Became Arab Implosion

The Great Arab Implosion and Its Consequences - Ofir Haivry

Another reality is emerging in the Middle East, redrawing the regional power balances - the rise of newly armed, self-governing nations and tribes.

They include a de-facto Kurdistan possessing the largest undefeated armed force between Jerusalem and Tehran; an Alawite-dominated western Syria; a consolidated Shiite southern Iraq; an increasingly autonomous Druzistan in southern Syria; a Yemen redivided into de-facto northern Shiite and southern Sunni countries; Libya's historical provinces of Cyrenaica and Tripolitania recreating their old division; with the possibility of the Sunni tribes of western Syria and eastern Iraq coalescing into a desert Sunnistan with or without IS.

Similar developments are clearly brewing in Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Lebanon, and Jordan, as well as among the Berbers of Algeria and the Kurds of Turkey and Iran.

With artificial regimes and borders gone, people in the region seek protection and solidarity in the old identities that have survived the Arab reverie: their nation, their religion, their tribe.

These are the only building blocks upon which a new and stable system can be founded.
The writer is vice-president of the Herzl Institute in Jerusalem.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

A Story with No End

Israel Can Only Manage, Not End, the Threat - Efraim Inbar

[I]t is a mistake to believe that it is possible to root Hamas out of Gaza and destroy its capabilities once and for all. There is no one-shot solution to the Hamas military/terrorist challenge.

Despite assertions to the contrary by the Israeli right, the end of Hamas rule is not an easily attainable military objective. The roots of Hamas are deep in Palestinian society, particularly in Gaza. A recent poll indicates that if new presidential elections were to be held right now in the West Bank and Gaza, Hamas's candidate Ismail Haniyeh would do better than Mahmoud Abbas.

Hamas simply cannot be eradicated by outsiders conquering Gaza and then politically reengineering Palestinian society. One cannot import a leadership of choice.

The calls from the Israeli left for a "political solution" are similarly unrealistic. Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Salafist groups see Israel as a theological aberration. They might reluctantly accept temporary cease-fires, but they continue to categorically reject any diplomatic course of action intended to fully solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Israel must be realistic about what can be achieved by military means. Force should be applied not to attain impossible political goals, but [rather] in the service of a long-term strategy of attrition designed to debilitate enemy capabilities and exact a cost with the object of enhancing temporary deterrence.  [O]ccasional large-scale operations have a temporary deterrent effect that creates periods of quiet along Israel's borders.  Hamas needs to be punished for its aggression and reminded of the cost it must pay for continuing its violence against Israel. And on a practical level, a period of calm can be achieved by destroying capabilities that are both difficult and expensive to rebuild. Buying time is a legitimate military goal.

The greater goal is the establishment of a reality in which Israeli residents can go about their lives without the continuing threat of indiscriminate terror, and in which a significant blow has been struck to Hamas's terror infrastructure. So far, the Israeli government has wisely adopted these limited political and military goals, a strategy dubbed "mowing the grass."

This strategy has a positive effect both within and beyond the borders of the conflict. Other actors in the Middle East are watching, and they too need vivid reminders that aggression against Israel can be costly. In this tough neighborhood, inaction is perceived as weakness, harming deterrence and inviting aggression.

The question "When will this end?" is inherently flawed. There is, unfortunately, no end in sight. As long as the basic motivations of Hamas remain, the violent struggle will continue. But this does not mean that significant periods of quiet cannot be achieved by military action.

Israel will probably be engaged in a war of attrition against Hamas for a long time. Keeping the enemy off balance and reducing its capabilities will require Israeli military readiness and a willingness to use force intermittently, while maintaining a healthy and resilient Israeli home front despite the protracted conflict.
[Middle East Forum]

Monday, June 27, 2016

Language Matters: Making Space for Moderate Muslims

"Radical Islam" Is the Correct Label - Yehuda Bauer

President Obama has explained why he doesn't like using the term "radical Islam" when talking about terror attacks perpetrated by Muslims in various countries. His argument was well-reasoned, but I don't agree with it. His principal argument is that using the label "radical Islam" will be interpreted as an attack on Islam per se, and will help extremists brand the U.S. as the enemy of 1.3 billion Muslim believers.

In my humble opinion, the truth is the diametric opposite. When an act of terror that's perpetrated for ideological reasons is termed simply "terror," but it's clear to everyone that it was perpetrated by a Muslim due to an extremist religious ideology, it paints all Muslims as the guilty parties. But if you say it was perpetrated by people who identify with radical Islam, you're effectively saying there's also a different kind of Islam, one that isn't radical in its ideas and actions and doesn't send murderers out to commit mass terror attacks.

Using the term "radical Islam" actually allows nonradical or antiradical Muslims - and they are the majority - to come out against such murderous acts both ideologically and practically. And in fact many do so
The writer is professor emeritus of history and Holocaust studies at Hebrew University. 

Friday, June 17, 2016

Palestinian Children of Graft

Tareq Abbas, son of Mahmoud Abbas

Yasser Abbas, son of Mahmoud Abbas. 
Yasser was named after...well you know that already

Abbas' Sons Must Be Excellent Busienssmen - Clayton Swisher

Tareq Abbas, the son of the Palestinian Authority president, is said to own villas in Amman, Jordan, and a rooftop pad in Beirut, Lebanon. And according to official British Land Registry records from 2012, Tareq registered a $1.5 million luxury flat in Merchant Square East, a high-end London development. Tareq's flat has stayed largely unoccupied since he bought it, which seems to indicate that he does not need the rental income.

The president's eldest son, Yasser, made his fortune from the monopoly sale of U.S.-made cigarettes in the PA. 

Their financial blessings are merely the result of being "Grade A businessmen," Yasser once remarked.
(Al Jazeera)

Palestinians Safer than Muslims Anywhere in MidEast - Sean Durns

Bassem Eid, a veteran Palestinian Arab human rights activist,noted that the PA has received "billions in aid" from the international community, including the U.S., but the authority has "failed to create jobs for Palestinians." He called corruption among the Palestinian leadership "big and wide." "If you ask Palestinians who Abbas represents, they would say himself, 'his wife and two sons.'"

Eid added that if a Palestinian state were to come into being, the current state of Palestinian politics in Gaza and the West Bank would suggest that such a state would be repressive and undemocratic. Eid pointed out that "as a Muslim, as an Arab," he is safer in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict than anywhere else in the Middle East. 

Ramallah house of Palestinian businessman Mohamed Abdel-Hadi

Anarchy Returns to the West Bank - Khaled Abu Toameh

A quick chat with young Palestinians, including Fatah members, in any refugee camp in the West Bank will reveal that the PA seems as much the enemy as Israel. They speak of the PA as a corrupt and incompetent body that is managed by "mafia leaders." Many activists believe it is only a matter of time before Palestinians launch an intifada against the PA.

Hassan Abu Ayyash, a Fatah activist from the Al-Amari camp near Ramallah, said the PA leadership is "getting hundreds of millions of dollars from the international community and distributing them among themselves and their sons. Look at all the big buildings and fancy restaurants and bars in Ramallah. Where do they get all the money to purchase expensive cars?" 
(Gatestone Institute)

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Reflections on Orlando

Wolf Dens, Not Lone Wolves - Joseph Ax 

A Reuters review of the 90 Islamic State court cases brought by the Department of Justice since 2014 found that 3/4 of those charged were not isolated individuals but rather part of a group of 2-10 co-conspirators who met in person to discuss their plans.

Even the isolated individuals were almost always in contact with other sympathizers, whether via text message, email or networking websites. Fewer than 10 cases involved someone acting entirely alone.      

Islamic State: Inspiring Attacks Abroad - Greg Miller

In its early expansion phase, the Islamic State called on Muslims across the world to join its ranks in Syria, to take part in the historic restoration of the caliphate. Now, Islamic State spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani said in a recording issued May 21, don't bother coming to Syria because "the smallest action you do in their heartland is better and more enduring to us than what you would do if you were with us." Those inside the caliphate's borders "wish we were in your place to punish the crusaders day and night."

The devastation in Orlando represents a danger that many U.S. counterterrorism officials warn will be harder to contain than the Islamic State's aspirations for an extremist haven in the Middle East. CIA Director John Brennan told al-Arabiya just days before the shooting in Orlando, "Countries around the world are having to be concerned about the potential for individuals or groups of individuals to act on their own, without the direct contact with organized terrorists or groups." The shooting in Orlando is the deadliest example to date of the terrorism model Brennan described.

Counterterrorism experts believe that the Islamic State may only be in the early stages of demonstrating its ability to incite a kind of violence that doesn't require penetrating the post-9/11 defenses of the U.S. 
(Washington Post)

Welcome to Israel's Reality - David French

America is slowly moving into Israel's security reality - the dilemma where external power projection leads to domestic discord and international condemnation, while a purely defensive strategy allows terrorists to recruit, re-arm, and inspire a new wave of jihadists. Israel's answer is a permanent defensive struggle punctuated by periodic bursts of offensive activity - all of which help keep life in Israel livable and peaceful for the vast majority of its citizens, but at great cost.

Americans hate the notion that there are no good answers to jihad. Something has to work. But reality is showing us what a permanent struggle looks like.
Here's the bottom line - in the absence of an effective offense, our defensive challenge will grow more difficult. But because there is no way to [fully] eradicate jihadist theology from Islam, defense will always be necessary.

Welcome to the permanent war. Israel's been here for a while
(National Review)

Lessons of Orlando - Thomas L. Friedman

[W]e're just waiting around for the next Paris, Brussels, San Bernardino or Orlando.

And the only thing that can stop them is from the inside: a meaningful mass movement by Muslim governments, clergymen and citizens to delegitimize this behavior
(New York Times)

For the official ISIS video celebrating the Orlando attack, click HERE


The Media's Apologetic Coverage of Islamic Terror - Tarek Fatah

The question is this: Should we fear Islamophobia or Islamofascism?
In the meantime, a jihadist newspaper in Pakistan carried this as its front-page headline: "Afghan youth roasts 50 Americans."
[The Toronto Sun]

Orlando Shooting Shows How ISIS Calls the Shots - Robert Pape

ISIS is creating a new role for itself as the producer of terror who attracts the right cast, provides a rough draft of the script, and ensures publicity after the fact.

That Omar Mateen was able to gather the necessary tactical knowledge to carry out this complicated act of terror shows that inspired attacks can now be as deadly as directed ones, and that the online reach of ISIS is a true game changer. ISIS has found a way to bring the fight to us.
The writer is director of the University of Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism. 
(Boston Globe)

Monday, June 13, 2016

Jihad & A Disney-like Illusion

Jihad in Orlando - Editorial

A young American Muslim pledging allegiance to Islamic State is now responsible for the largest mass shooting in U.S. history. 

Can we finally drop the illusion that the jihadist fires that burn in the Middle East don't pose an urgent and deadly threat to the American homeland? The killer was heard shouting "allahu Akbar" (God is great) as he fired away.
[T]he only real solution is to destroy Islamic State in its havens abroad so young Muslims around the world won't see it as the vanguard of the future. 
(Wall Street Journal)


How Many Bodies Will it Take? - Phyllis Chesler, PhD

How many bodies will it take for Americans, especially the intelligentsia, including the feminists, including gay people, including our elected officials, before they understand that we: (the West, America, Jews, Christians, Hindus, Muslim and ex-Muslim dissidents) have a very real enemy? It is radical Islam or Islamism, and it is not going away anytime soon.

Clearly, more than 3,000 bodies on 9/11 were not enough. Clearly, the many millions of Muslims murdered by Muslim Jihadists have not been enough. Will the murder of 49 gay Americans finally be “enough?” Somehow I doubt it but I certainly hope so.

How many deaths before we become effective in identifying potential Jihadists? Within our borders? Arriving as refugees and immigrants? How many deaths before we are willing to use the word “Muslim terrorist” without fearing we will be demonized for doing so?

The gay websites are more focused on general “hate” against gays and gun control than they are focused on the nature and the danger of radical Islam. The gay communities have been willing to march against Israel—but never against Jihad?

Long ago, Natan Sharansky asked me if I thought I could “turn the feminists, the leftists, the gays around.” I told him that I doubted it, but that I would try. Will these 49 dead and 53 wounded start that “turning?” We shall see.
[FrontPage Magazine]

Orlando Shooter Scouted Disney World in Search for Targets
- Pervaiz Shallwani

Omar Mateen had visited Walt Disney World while he was searching for targets, two officials said.  
(Wall Street Journal)

DHS Report: Don't Offend Muslims - Douglas Ernst

A report by the Homeland Security Advisory Council released days before the Islamic terror attack in Orlando, Florida, stressed the importance of combating extremism by avoiding terms that might offend Muslims.

A HSAC subcommittee first created by DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson in 2015 published its report on June 9.
Some instructions found in the report include:

  • Officials should not use the word “jihad.”
  • Officials should not use the word “sharia.”
  • Officials should not use the word “takfir,” which is done when one Muslim accuses another of apostasy.
  • Officials are instructed to “reject religiously-charged terminology and problematic positioning by using plain meaning American English.”
[Washington Times]
For the official ISIS video celebrating the Orlando attack, click HERE

Friday, June 10, 2016


A most significant news item is being missed by almost all news services. Saudi Arabia has condemned this week's terror attack in Tel Aviv! Headlines should be blaring: 
The ramifications of this should not be underestimated.


Palestinians in the West Bank and east Jerusalem took to the streets to celebrate the terrorist shooting in Tel Aviv on Wednesday night that left four Israelis dead. Dozens of Palestinians gathered at Damascus Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem, singing and cheering. In the West Bank city of Tulkarm, young men distributed candies to the local drivers, while in the Dheisheh refugee camp in Bethlehem dozens of Palestinians participated in a march praising the attack. Palestinians also expressed their joy on social media networks.
In contrast, the official Saudi media strongly denounced the Tel Aviv attack. The Saudi TV channel al-Arabiya referred to the people injured in the attack as "victims," and not as "settlers," as most Arab outlets usually refer to Israelis. Dahham al-Enazi, a member of the Saudi Journalists Association, tweeted: "The Tel Aviv attack is terror and thuggery. Our solidarity and support for the Palestinian people does not mean that we accept the killing of innocents and civilians. We would like to extend our condolences to the families of the victims."  
(Jerusalem Post)

Egyptian journalist Bothaina Kamel, who tried unsuccessfully to compete in Egypt's 2011 presidential elections, condemned Wednesday's terror attack in Tel Aviv in a series of tweets.

Kamel called the action of the two Palestinian gunmen who killed four Israelis at a restaurant a crime and wrote: "What's heroic about entering a restaurant and shooting people who are dining there?"

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Warm MidEast Peace: The New Regional Order

Egyptians Begin to Envision Warmer Relations with Israel
- Ofir Winter

  • A string of statements by current and former senior Egyptian state and military officials and independent publicists have appeared recently in the Egyptian press, calling for a reassessment, under certain conditions, of the traditional reservations regarding the "temperature" of the country's relations with Israel.
  • Egypt's openness to eventual "warm" peace with Israel emerges in a new geopolitical context. Normalization is no longer presented only as bait aimed at Israel but rather reflects Egypt's genuine interests and those of other Arab countries in creating a "new regional order" that will include broader and more open cooperative efforts with Israel for the sake of security stability and economic welfare in the region.
  • "Warm" peace with Israel during the current period is actually meant to fill the vacuum left by the reduction of U.S. involvement in the region. It aims at establishing a new regional axis in which Egypt, the Gulf states, and Israel will join forces.
  • May Azzam, who published a series of articles in al-Masry al-Youm under the title "Are the Arabs Ready for Warm Peace?," noted that the Palestinian problem no longer heads the Arab public agenda; an Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights is not currently a relevant prospect, in light of the war in Syria; and the "resistance" organizations of Hizbullah and Hamas are considered by some Arab states to be outcast terrorist groups.
  • According to Azzam, "most of the Arab governments already do not regard Israel as their most bitter enemy and rank other countries ahead of it on the hostility and hatred scale." She pointed to the Egyptian necessity for promoting "a turnover in the principles on which we were educated and that became part of our fundamental concepts."
  • Another columnist in al-Masry al-Youm, writing under the pseudonym "Newton," stated that after decades of living side-by-side with Israel, the time has come for Egypt to update its "operative program" to enable it to reap the fruits of peace between the two countries. In his view, the new security understandings between Egypt and Israel regarding the deployment of forces in the Sinai Peninsula have proven "the existence of mutual trust and the coordination that serves the interests of both countries."
  • (Institute for National Security Studies)


    Arab Peace Initiative Is Negotiable, Saudi Arabia and Jordan Say
    - Pinhas Inbari 

    At a meeting in Amman, Jordanian King Abdullah told Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas that Saudi Arabia wants to make changes in the Arab Peace Initiative so that Israel could accept it, Palestinian sources said. 
    (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

    Tuesday, June 07, 2016

    Exploding the Palestinian Narrative

    Who Are Palestinian Arabs? - Yoram Ettinger

    Contrary to conventional wisdom, most Arabs in British Mandate Palestine - and most of the 320,000 1948 Arab refugees - were migrant workers and descendants of 1831-1947 Muslim immigrants from across the Arab world.

    Thus, between 1880 and 1919, Haifa's Arab population surged from 6,000 to 80,000, mostly due to migrant workers.

    The eruption of World War II accelerated the demand for Arab manpower by the British Mandate's military and its civilian authorities.  Arab migrant workers were imported by the Ottoman Empire, and then by the British Mandate, to work on major civilian and military infrastructure projects.

    Legal and illegal Arab migrants were also attracted by economic growth generated by the Jewish community starting in 1882.

    Th[e] unusual Arab/Muslim demographic diversity is evidenced by popular Israeli Arab family names, which are a derivative of their countries of origin: Al-Masri (Egypt), Al-Obeidi (Sudan), Al-Lubnani (Lebanon), Halabi (Syria), Al-Mughrabi (Morocco), Al-Djazair (Algeria), Al-Yamani (Yemen), Al-Afghani (Afghanistan), Al-Hindi (India), Al-Hijazi (Saudi Arabia), Al-Baghdadi (Iraq), Bushnak (Bosnia), Khamis (Bahrain), Turki (Turkey), etc.

    Thus, Arabs have not been in the Land of Israel from time immemorial; no Palestinian people was ever robbed of its land; and most of the initial Arab refugees were created by the 1948 Arab invasion of Israel and their own collaboration with the invasion.
    [Israel Hayom]

    Thursday, June 02, 2016

    VideoBite: It's the Jihad Stupid

    One of the most poignant videos in recent memory. 
    Connects the jihad dots well. 
    - Daniel Douek 
    Top Islamic State commander in Sinai Shadi al-Menii met with Hamas officials in Gaza to discuss cooperation, Israel's Channel 2 reported.

    Al-Menii fled to Gaza in May 2015 after his organization attacked an Egyptian military base and killed a soldier.  Al-Menii's branch of ISIS in Sinai helped Hamas smuggle arms into the strip via tunnels in return for sophisticated weapons. 
    (Times of Israel)

    Dalai Lama on Refugees

    Dalai Lama: Europe Has Let In 'Too Many' Refugees -

    The Dalai Lama thinks Europe has let in "too many" refugees. The Tibetan spiritual leader said that "we feel the misery" of each individual refugee and that humans have a "responsibility to help" — but that there are "too many" who have been accepted in Europe.

    "Europe, for example Germany, cannot become an Arab country. Germany is Germany," he laughed in an interview published Tuesday with Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper. "There are so many."

    The Dalai Lama said that "from a moral standpoint" he thinks refugees should "only be accommodated temporarily" — with the goal of them returning home to rebuild their countries.
    Germany took in over 1 million refugees last year from war-torn countries such as Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan over the past year.
    [NBC News]

    Bernard Lewis on Iran

     To celebrate the 100th birthday of Dr. Bernard Lewis, the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs posted this excellent video from 2009

    Tuesday, May 31, 2016

    Israel & Saudi Arabia Continue Public Flirting

    Surprise Move: Netanyahu will Negotiate based on Saudi Peace Initiative
    - Gil Hoffman

    Israel is prepared to hold peace talks based on the Arab Peace Initiative, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu surprisingly declared just moments after new Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman took the oath of office, ending a month-long saga over which party would join Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government.

    “I remain committed to making peace with the Palestinians and with all our neighbors,” Netanyahu said in a press conference following the swearing- in ceremony. “The Arab peace initiative includes positive elements that can help revive constructive negotiations with the Palestinians."

    “We are willing to negotiate with the Arab states revisions to that initiative so that it reflects the dramatic changes in the region since 2002, but maintains the agreed goal of two states for two peoples.”

    The controversial Arab Peace Initiative – long rejected by Jerusalem and also known as the Saudi Initiative – calls for normalizing relations between Arab countries and Israel, in exchange for a complete withdrawal by Israel to pre-1967 lines and a solution to the Palestinian refugee problem.

    The Jerusalem Post has learned that Likud MK Tzachi Hanegbi, who was sworn in as minister-without-portfolio in the Prime Minister’s Office and will deal with foreign affairs and defense issues, will be involved in new regional diplomatic initiatives Netanyahu intends to advance in coming weeks. He is the Likud’s most dovish minister.

    Netanyahu also praised Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s offer to advance peace and security in the region. Liberman, who has been critical of Egypt in the past, said he agreed with Netanyahu’s statements, including about the Arab peace plan and reiterated Yisrael Beytenu’s long-standing support for a two-state solution.

    [Jerusalem Post]

    Normalization Would Be A 'Stab in the Back'

    Hazem Abu Shanab, a senior member of Fatah's Revolutionary Council, added that normalization of relations between Israel and Arab states at this time would be a "stab in the back" for the Palestinians.
    (Egypt Independent)
    Note: for context, please consider viewing a prior post HERE


    Saudi Arabia Expands Its Anti-Iran Strategy - Angus McDowall

    Under King Salman, Saudi Arabia is expanding its confrontation with Iran to Africa, Asia and Latin America, no longer relying on Western allies to smother Tehran's ambitions outside the Arab world. The Saudis are using Muslim networks to push states into cutting off contacts with Iran, including by creating an Islamic Coalition against terrorism last November.
    Some African countries have followed many Arab League states in recent months in cutting diplomatic ties with Iran. In January, Sudan cut off ties with Tehran, followed by Djibouti and Somalia. 

    Palestinian Activist Complains: Official Arab Normalization with Israel Has Reached Critical Proportions

    BDS activist Omar Barghouti told the Lebanese channel Palestine Today TV on April 10: 

    "Unfortunately, the official Arab and even Palestinian normalization [with Israel] is on the rise. We hold the official Palestinian circles primarily responsible for this, because they are the gateway to Arab-Israeli normalization. If official Palestinian normalization had not reached this level, nobody would have dared to host Israeli delegations in Saudi Arabia, sports delegations in Qatar, trade delegations in the UAE, and delegations in Bahrain, Morocco, and so on. Official Arab normalization has reached critical proportions." 

    Islamic Fear of Zionism Is Irrational - Adnan Oktar

    When the Arab-Muslim world recognizes Israel's right to exist as an independent and sovereign state, the century-long bloodshed will cease. Moreover, once the Arab world decides to acknowledge Israel as a neighbor, it can focus on developing the well-being of the Palestinian people, and of the other Arab peoples doing far less well than the Palestinians, too.
    (Jerusalem Post)

    Friday, May 27, 2016

    Son of Hamas Addresses Jewish Audience


    A controversial and moving 19 minute talk by Mosab Hassan Yousef,
    a son of a Hamas leader turned Arab Zionist
    Mosab Hassan Yousef – the “Green Prince” – who worked as an Israeli spy, said “the Jewish nation is dear to me and when I see nations fighting against the Jewish people it hurts me.”
    Speaking at The Jerusalem Post’s annual conference in New York, Yousef noted that at one point he was working for and being paid by Israel, the US, the PA and Hamas, all at the same time.

    Yousef, the son of West Bank Hamas leader Sheikh Hassan Yousef, helped the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) thwart attacks from 1997 to 2007. He later went on to write an autobiography published in 2010 titled Son of Hamas.

    He converted to Christianity and fled to the US where he was granted political asylum.
    [Jerusalem Post]

    Thursday, May 26, 2016

    Digital Profiling: Radical Solution to Identifying Terrorists

    Israeli Start-Up Claims It Can Identify Terrorists by Looking at Their Face
    - Simon Tomlinson

    Faception, an Israeli start-up, says its technology can spot character traits that are undetectable to the naked eye, and can identify terrorists, pedophiles and ace poker players simply by looking at their face.

    The company claims its software classified 9 of the 11 Paris massacre jihadists as terrorists from their facial features. Shai Gilboa, Faception chief executive, said the firm has developed a database of 15 classifiers which are used to determine personality traits with 80% accuracy. 
    (Daily Mail-UK)

    Israeli Start-Up Says It Can Out Secrets by Analyzing Faces
    - Matt McFarland

    At a recent poker tournament, Faception predicted which four players out of the 50 amateurs would be the best by analyzing their photos. Two of those four were among the event's three finalists. 

    (Washington Post)